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Games firm secures court ruling

FanDuel lifts New York ban after overturning injunction

Lesley Eccles 2An appeal court in New York has granted fantasy games firm FanDuel an emergency stay of an injunction issued yesterday.

It has now lifted its ban on users in the state playing its games while the legal process is fully concluded.

New York Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez earlier confirmed a preliminary injunction ordering FanDuel and its main rival DraftKings to shut down operations in the state.

Edinburgh and New York based FanDuel immediately stopped taking entries after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued “cease and desist” notices to the two firms last month.

Mr Mendez supported the arguments made by Schneiderman, adding that protecting the public “outweighs any potential loss of business” for the two companies.

However, both companies said they would appeal the judgement and this morning FanDuel, co-founded in Edinburgh by Nigel and Lesley (pictured) Eccles, announced that its application for an emergency stay of the injunction had succeeded.

In a statement it said: “On behalf of our users in New York, we are pleased to report that this afternoon, an appellate court in New York granted our request for an emergency stay of the injunction issued this morning.  Based on the appellate court’s ruling, New Yorkers can continue to enjoy FanDuel contests while the legal process moves forward.”

Following the Supreme Court’s earlier judgemen it said the judge’s ruling was “only the beginning of the legal process and, perhaps more importantly, the New York legislature is already moving forward on action to ensure our game remains legal and is regulated, which we strongly support.

“The court specifically noted that this was not a final determination of the issue and that discovery would be needed to fully resolve the legal question, which we think should be decided in our favour when all of the evidence is in.

“New Yorkers have been able to legally play our games for more than six years, and today’s preliminary decision was wrong and we expect we will ultimately be successful. A number of issues became very clear in court: first, the outcome of fantasy sports contests are determined by skill, not chance. Second, the Attorney General’s argument for season-long fantasy sports being legal does not hold water — if season-long fantasy is legal, than daily fantasy is legal, and vice-versa.”

DraftKings said: “We are disappointed with the court’s decision, and will immediately file an emergency notice of appeal in order to preserve the status quo.

“Daily Fantasy Sports contests have been played legally by New Yorkers for the past seven years and we believe this status quo should be maintained while the litigation plays out.”

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