A state judge has agreed to shut down daily fantasy sites DraftKings and FanDuel as they continue to battle New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in court.
In his ruling granting Schneiderman a preliminary injunction, State Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez writes that "the balancing of equities are in favor of the NYAG and the State of New York due to their interest in protecting the public, particularly those with gambling addictions."
DraftKings and FanDuel had pointed to case law to argue that their method of charging users entry fees didn't constitute "bets" or "wagers," and argued that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) carved out an exception for their fantasy business.
Justice Mendez brushed these points aside.
"New York State Penal Law does not refer to 'wagering' or 'betting,' rather it states that a person 'risks something of value,'" Mendez writes. "The payment of an 'entry fee' as high as $10,600 on one or more contests daily could certainly be deemed risking "something of value."
He added, "The exception found in UIGEA does not apply under the current New York State statutory language."
As of a few minutes ago, we were still able to set up a DraftKings account with a New York address.
"We are pleased with the decision, consistent with our view that DraftKings and FanDuel are operating illegal gambling operations in clear violation of New York law," Schneiderman said in a statement. "I have said from the beginning that my job is to enforce the law, and that is what happened today."
David Boies, the attorney who was one-half of the legal team that overturned California's Prop 8 gay marriage ban, is representing DraftKings, and recently filed paperwork indicating that the site would appeal the injunction.
If you have no idea what the hell any of this means, here's some context.