In 2016, the New York legislature legalized sports fantasy leagues, such as Fan Duel and Draft Kings. These services have provided a significant amount of advertising revenue for broadcasters.
Recently, Albany County Supreme Court Justice, Gerald Connolly, ruled that the 2016 legislation authorizing internet sports fantasy leagues violated the New York State Constitution. While recognizing some very specific exceptions, the New York State Constitution prohibits gambling. The court found that while internet sports fantasy leagues may involve some skill in selecting players, it is still gambling.
At the same time, the court upheld the New York Legislature’s decision to exempt participation in internet sports fantasy leagues from New York criminal law.
Thus, while the law authorizing internet sports fantasy leagues is unconstitutional, participation does not violate New York criminal law. New York State citizens may still participate. We expect the decision to be appealed or corrective legislation passed.
Bottom line – For now, we believe you may continue to accept advertising from internet sports fantasy services that have registered with New York State. Nonetheless, this is a fluid situation. We will keep a close watch on this issue.
We advise you to consult your own council.
For a copy of the decision click HERE.
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