Warning issued to legislators

FanDuel will quit New York without new law, says Eccles

Nigel Eccles at Dynamic EarthFanDuel is threatening to quit New York unless policymakers vote to allow its daily fantasy sports games to operate in the state.

Chief executive Nigel Eccles (pictured) has written to state legislators warning that the company will take its 175 workers as well as its games out of Manhattan if they do not lift a ban on its operations.

Mr Eccles’ letter calls on the Senate and Assembly to approve a law that would allow daily fantasy sports sites to operate in New York under regulation from the state Gaming Commission.

“Without it, FanDuel will likely be forced to find a new home, as our operations, employees and industry would not be welcome in New York,” Eccles says in the letter sent on Tuesday.

Fantasy games operators are subject to investigations over their legality following claims that they breach US online gambling laws. The companies say they are games of chance and therefore legal.

The companies have resorted to state-by-state negotiations but Mr Eccles’ letter suggests growing frustration over the delay to making a decision in New York where the company has been co-headquartered since 2011.

Boston-based DraftKings and Yahoo also shut down their New York operations in March after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused them of violating state gambling laws.

Legislators seem confident that the bill will be passed. One gaming committee chairman, Gary Pretlow, told the US media: “I am 100% confident this is going to happen.”

Mr Pretlow and another key legislator, John Bonacic, introduced bills  last month to legalise daily fantasy sports and give the Gaming Commission authority over the industry.

FanDuel was established in Edinburgh and is close to occupying new offices in the Quartermile district of the city. The company is planning to launch games in the UK in August. It is thought the games will focus on English Premier League football.


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