Thursday, 21 February 2013

Daily Fantasy Sports and the Law: The First Legal Challenge

On March 21, 2012, Illinois lawyer Chris Langone filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Fan Duel and one of its purported winners, Patrick Kaiser.  The lawsuit seeks to recover the third-party losses of Fan Duel's contestants based on Illinois's version of the Statute of Anne -- a common law statute that sometimes allows third parties to recover unclaimed winnings from illegal gambling transactions.

The posture of this case resembles the 2006 case Humphrey v. Viacom, with two major differences: (1) case is brought in Illinois rather than New Jersey, and (2) the case is brought against a daily fantasy sports game rather than a traditional, full-season fantasy game.

Fan Duel has filed a motion to dismiss that argues, among other things, that its games should not fall under Illinois gambling losses recovery statute because its games involve predominantly skill.

This week, I have written several articles on this case and its implications over at Forbes.  For more on the specifics and the merits of the parties' respective arguments, please see the following three sources:

1.  Marc Edelman, Will New Lawsuit Help to Clarity the Legal Status of Daily Fantasy Sports, Forbes, Feb. 19, 2013.

2.  Marc Edelman, Did Comcast Invest in Fan Duel Too Soon, Forbes, Feb. 20, 2013.

3.  Marc Edelman, A Short Treatise on Fantasy Sports and the Law: How America Regulates its New National Pastime, 3 Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law 1 (2011).

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