New York Appeals Court Calls For Reargument In DFS Case

  • New York’s court of appeals has called for a reargument in a case about DFS in the state.
  • The case could determine the legal status of daily fantasy sports in NY.
  • At issue is whether or not the legislature was correct to legally approve it as a game of skill.

NEW YORK - The New York Court of Appeals has ordered a reargument in an ongoing case regarding the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the Empire State.

The case hinges on the argument that the New York State Legislature unlawfully expanded gambling by allowing DFS as a “game of skill”.

The Court of Appeals is the highest court in the state, and there are only six judges serving on it in this case due to the recusal of Judge Michael Garcia.

Garcia felt unable to fairly adjudicate the case after he was part of an internal advisory board at FanDuel, one of the biggest DFS and online gambling operators in the nation.

Without him, there is a possibility that the court is stuck in a 3-3 tie on any decision that they make.

The call for reargument has suggested that this is on the table and could indicate that differences between the justices are causing problems for the court.

Is New York DFS Legal?

New York’s state legislature allowed DFS in 2016, but there have been a series of legal challenges against it in the years since.

Two of New York’s courts have ruled that DFS should have been considered gambling, and thus not allowed in the state when the law was passed.

Each time, the case was appealed further up, until it reached the point that it is currently at - the highest court in the state.

The major differentiator was the comparison of a game of skill Vs. a game of chance. A game of skill is allowed, while a game of chance is not.

Whether or not DFS constitutes a game of skill is up for debate in this case. The state is arguing that it does require skill and the plaintiffs are arguing that it does not.

"The contestants have available to them a wealth of information, much like the analytics available to the general managers of the world," Victor Paladino, New York's Assistant Solicitor General, argued to the court.

New York’s mobile sports betting operation is aiming for a launch in early 2022, and it could be the only game in town for sports bettors if DFS is found to be a chance not worth taking by lawmakers.