NY state seeks court shutdown of fantasy sports sites
Attorney general Eric Schneiderman asked for a state court injunction after the two firms tried, and failed to secure a court order allowing them to remain open.
Schneiderman issued an administrative cease-and-desist order on November 11 following an investigation by his office concluding the two websites are illegal gambling operations.
Fantasy sports—where participants select real-life players to create a "fantasy team" whose performance is pitted against others—have become wildly popular in the United States in sports such as basketball, hockey and American football.
The companies claim they are games of skill rather than gambling operations. But the two firms shut down operations in Nevada following a similar investigation.
In complaints filed in the latest court petitions, the state attorney general's office said DraftKings and FanDuel are both marketed as gambling operations.
The state argued that daily fantasy sports contests "pose precisely the same risks to New York residents that New York's anti-gambling laws were intended to avoid" and called them "a serious and growing threat to people at risk for, or already struggling with, gambling-related illnesses."
FanDuel said in a statement it was suspending its paid activities for New York State residents as of 1930 GMT.
"We believe that this restriction is temporary and we hope to be able to offer our paid contests to New Yorkers again very soon," the statement said.
"We will press on and fight to ensure that your right to play fantasy sports is protected, not just in New York, but across the nation."
DraftKings said however it would only shut down if ordered by court injunction.
"Your right to play DFS (daily fantasy sports) in New York will remain unchanged unless a New York court decides otherwise," the company said in an email to its customers.
It said a court hearing on the matter would be held November 25.
© 2015 AFP