Rivers Barred from DFS Court Battle in N.Y.
Rivers, the Schenectady casino, wants to join the state’s appeal of a 2018 court ruling that daily fantasy sports violates the New York Constitution. But Rivers may have too much of a private interest in the outcome to satisfy the justices hearing the appeal.
New York’s Rivers Casino & Resort has been rebuffed in a court bid to have daily fantasy sports declared illegal under the state Constitution.
DFS was authorized in 2016 by an agreement between its proponents in the legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo that the games are skill-based and therefore don’t constitute an expansion of gambling, which would require a constitutional amendment.
That view has been challenged, however, and last year, opponents won a ruling in Supreme Court, the first level of New York’s court system, that DFS does in fact violate the constitutional requirement.
The state Attorney General’s Office has appealed that ruling and oral arguments are scheduled to be heard later this year.
As a potential DFS competitor in New York’s nascent sports betting market, the Schenectady operator wants to join that challenge in hopes of obtaining a definitive ruling outlawing it. As one of Rivers’ attorneys has stated, “Whether (daily fantasy sports) is viewed as a game of skill or chance it is still unauthorized ‘gambling’ as that term is used in the constitution.”
Rivers’ argument has been blocked, however, under a new Appellate Division ruling that the casino lacks the legal standing to make it.
“The only time that I remember seeing a New York appellate court turn away a proposed amicus brief was when the proposed amicus had a direct financial interest in the outcome of the appeal,” said Albany attorney Rob Rosborough.
Which may be the court’s finding in Rivers’ case, he said, if the judges believed its interest in the outcome was purely based on economics.