Yesterday New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that daily fantasy sites FanDuel and DraftKings are to be considered illegal gambling in his state. Both sites have been asked to stop accepting wagers from New York residents. Here’s the statement that FanDuel released. “Fantasy sports is a game of skill and legal under New York State law,” FanDuel said in a statement. “This is a politician telling hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers they are not allowed to play a game they love and share with friends, family, coworkers and players across the country. The game has been played — legally — in New York for years and years, but after the Attorney General realized he could now get himself some press coverage, he decided a game that has been around for a long, long time is suddenly now not legal. We have operated openly and lawfully in New York for several years. The only thing that changed today is the Attorney General’s mind.” DraftKings also released a statement; “We are very disappointed that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took such hasty action today, particularly since he did not take any time to understand our business or why daily fantasy sports are clearly a game of skill,” DraftKings said in a statement. “We strongly disagree with the reasoning in his opinion and will examine and vigorously pursue all legal options available to ensure our over half a million customers in New York State can continue to play the fantasy sports games they love. “We continue to see a number of other officials, including Senator [Joe] Negron in Florida, Representative [Mike] Zalewski in Illinois and the Federal Trade Commission, take a reasoned, informed and measured approach to the daily fantasy sports business. We hope this trend continues along with due consideration for over 56 million sports fans across the country who enjoy playing fantasy sports. We remain committed to working with all relevant authorities to ensure that our industry operates in a manner that is transparent and fair for all consumers. “New York’s actions today are an unfortunate example of a state government stifling innovation, technology and entrepreneurship and acting without full and fair consideration of the interests of consumers.” In October, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the state’s attorney general ruled that daily fantasy meets the definition of sports gambling and requires a license to operate within the state. Both companies immediately stopped doing business in Nevada. Both companies were virtually free from scrutiny until this fall, when they flooded the TV market with advertising at the start of the football season. The scrutiny escalated when Ethan Haskell, a DraftKings employee, won $350,000 by finishing in second place in an NFL contest on FanDuel. Although a third-party investigation commissioned by DraftKings found Haskell did not have proprietary information to pick his winning lineup, the revelation that employees could play daily fantasy for money caught many off guard, including MLB, a DraftKings investor. Plenty of other states have been active in figuring out the future of daily fantasy. Last month, a representative in Illinois put forth the first daily fantasy regulation bill, and officials from New Jersey and Pennsylvania held hearings on daily fantasy sports this week. A federal grand jury has convened in Florida, according to multiple legal sources. Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington prohibit fantasy sports for money. Several additional states do not allow some forms of daily fantasy.
Week 9 in the NFL is in the books. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy tied at 7-6 while Schaumburg Stu and I finished at 6-7 for the week. On the season Dan the Man is in the lead at 79-53. Mr. Fantasy is in 2nd with a record of 76-56. I am currently in 3rd place with a record of 74-58 while Schaumburg Stu is in the cellar with a record of 71-61. Let’s see if Week 10 goes better for us.
I had the Indianapolis Colts going to the Super Bowl out of the AFC this season. The Colts are 4-5, but are in 1st place in the AFC South. Now it looked like they might be on the right track with a 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos. It was the Broncos 1st loss of the season. So just as it seemed like the Colts could be turning things around it was announced that Andrew Luck will be out 2 to 6 weeks with a lacerated kidney and a partial tear of an abdominal muscle. It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Luck as he was sidelined with a shoulder injury earlier in the year and has reportedly been playing with broken ribs in recent weeks. Luck isn’t expected to need surgery and some reports are saying the Colts expect him t be out a month. With Luck out Matthew Hasselback takes over as the starting quarterback for Indianapolis. Hasselback started Week 4 and Week 5 while Luck was out with his shoulder injury and won both of those games. If Luck is out 6 weeks he would return for the final game of the regular season against the Tennessee Titans. If it is the 6 week time period that Luck will be out Hasselback will quarterback the Colts against the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaquars, Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins. Luckily for the Colts they are probably in the weakest division in the NFL; so Hasselback should be able to keep them in playoff contention while Luck is out.
The Miami Heat sent James Ennis and Mario Chalmers to the Memphis Grizzlies for Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes. It was the earliest trade in the NBA since 2008. Miami was able to dump a little salary in the deal as Chalmers makes $4.3 million a season while Udrih makes $2.17 million. Stokes and Ennis have identical 1-year veteran’s minimum deals. Stokes deal is fully guaranteed while Ennis and the Heat reworked his contract before the season; so he has a partial guarantee. Memphis has gotten off to a 3-4 start and there was some concern which helped this deal move along this early in the season.
Baseball’s General Mangers are meeting this week, but nothing major has come out of these meetings except a bunch of rumors. There has been one minor trade as the Minnesota Twins sent catcher Chris Herrmann to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league 1st baseman Daniel Palka. What may have been the biggest news that came out this week is that St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn will under go Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2016 season. Let’s see if all these rumors turn into some deals or if we’ll have to wait for something to happen.
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