HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John Oliver's coverage of DraftKings and FanDuel collected more than 2.5 million views in the first week as the impact of the daily fantasy sports (DFS) implosion took hold. Internal DFS policy documents filed in court advised employees they should not win too much money on competing websites. ESPN reported internal board minutes that suggest DraftKings may have knowingly violated Federal law. A newly filed class action by the fans name Visa, MasterCard and American Express, among others, in a RICO suit accusing them of participating in a racketeering scheme facilitating illegal gambling. Another Florida lawsuit names DraftKings and FanDuel, along with the NBA, MLS, affiliates of MLB and NHL, various media companies and banks and payment processors as defendants for racketeering among other things. More than 36 lawsuits have been filed in just over 6 weeks.
Meanwhile, DraftKings has retained David Boies, arguably one of the top legal talents in the country. In addition to trying to shift the conversation back to the skill vs. chance argument, a battle which the New York Attorney General doesn't need to win to prevail in court, Mr. Boies is quick to highlight the fact that FanDuel and DraftKings have been operating in New York for years, potentially implying that since they haven't been caught so far, it's too late for action.
"DraftKings and FanDuel are collecting headlines almost as fast as John Oliver's video is collecting views," said veteran actor Zack Ward, who played 'Scut Farkus' in A Christmas Story. "I mean... I may need to hire a personal assistant to keep up to date on all of this. Daily fantasy sports betting is dead in New York, period. Why does it matter that they have been there for a few years? Is the Attorney General supposed to turn a blind eye to illegal gambling just because he didn't take action before? By the same logic, cops shouldn't stop cars going 90 mph when the speed limit is 65 and just let them continue to be a threat to everybody else because they haven't been caught in the first 5 miles. That's completely ridiculous nonsense."
NHL Legend Bernie Nicholls echoes Mr. Ward's view: "With the death of daily fantasy sports betting looking like it's just around the corner, I can't help but think that this is a good thing. Fans can go back to cheering for their favorite real-world team like it should be, rather than cheering for a mish-mash of players from different and competing teams. DraftKings and FanDuel had their moment in the sun and they decided to cram tons of obnoxious ads down our throats rather than work to legalize and legitimize their products. But, since you can't keep gambling from destroying sports, and daily fantasy is obviously gambling, I suppose they had no choice. However, we DO have a choice."
On October 8, 2015, Zack sponsored the Sports Integrity Protection Amendment (SIPA) in California to get us off the wrong path and onto the right one. "This is how I see it... leagues will now end up spending money, time and effort to defend themselves in court. Their investment in DraftKings and FanDuel along with the companies themselves will go down the same drain. For a little bit of 'fan engagement,' you get the cancer of gambling on sports, addiction issues and unsolvable integrity problems. As if that wasn't enough, you get sued in court for racketeering and your reputation takes a hit. I'm an old-fashioned straight-up guy when it comes to sports. Sports inspire us to be more, to try harder, to work together, to believe we can and to turn dreams into reality. It should stay that way. SIPA creates a thriving regulated marketplace for sports trading that will benefit the fans, the players, the leagues, and the state of California. This is a win-win for everyone."
Bernie Nicholls agrees. "Being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and having called California home for over a decade, I have a real soft spot for the people and the state. To think I can be a part of SIPA and help work to create a new economy for the state is an absolute honor. I believe California should be the home of the World's First Sports Stock Market and I will do what I can to rally the public and get the support we need to make SIPA a reality."
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