New York's Supreme Court has backed up the state AG in banning daily fantasy sports wagering in-state. That's a trial court; New York's Court of Appeals is the analog to the Supreme Court in the federal system and most states. I remember that from watching too many Law and Order episodes
The ruling prevents daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators from "accepting entry fees, wagers or bets from New York consumers."
With the ruling, New York joins Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington as states where fantasy sports of the daily variety are widely considered illegal.
That's an eclectic bunch of states. Nevada is the interesting one, where the sites would be legal if the got a gambling license like the sports books at the casinos do.
I've been in for-fun fantasy football leagues in the past, but dropped out of the Blogger Bowl league of the early aughts when they started having a modest entry fee; however, it was more having the team management eating into my free time that was the catalyst rather than the money.
The daily games do lean more towards a gambling application than the ongoing games, as you're essentially betting on a roster of selected players (and whole team's defenses) rather a team. There is more skill at DFS than betting on a particular game, but it seems to be a better fit in the gambling umbrella than out.
For me, DFS is becoming the tail wagging the dog in football coverage. DFS players are high-volume users of sports web sites, so catering to them makes economic sense, so much so that leagues and sports networks have bought minority stakes in the two big DFS companies.
The ESPN piece notes that a number of states, including New York, are looking at explicitly legalizing DFS. It's something that might not flow along party lines, where poverty-fighting liberals and moralist conservatives are on the con side, while libertarians, folks with a stake in the gaming industries and gambling fans on the pro side. The money is on the pro side, but crusading attorney-generals on both side of the aisle are often on the con side, especially when you add the complications of insider-wagering and a payout system skewed to a few professional players rather than the casual fan.
That last part is an interesting one that is reminiscent of futures markets, where professionals will have an information edge over the casual speculator, making futures a losing game on average for amateurs. DFS has a similar element, where the pro can do in-depth analysis of whether a player is over or under-valued, while amateurs will go by gut feel, who they like, or who their favorite fantasy web site likes. That herd mentality will skew the market in one direction, allowing the pros to make a contrarian play and win more often.
Futures is a good analogy, since it is a zero-sum game. Stock investments make money over the long haul, but futures break even with equal information and no trading costs. With asymmetrical information and commissions, it's a losing proposition for the futures amateur. Likewise, with the pros having better info and the house getting its cut, DFS is a loser for the casual player.
Thus, there is a consumer-safety angle to this that will appeal to left-of-center folks. Add that to the usual suspects in gambling legislation and you have a contentious brew that is just starting to be dealt with. The 2015 football season has seem the DFS sites become near-ubiquitous on sports broadcasts, with large number of ads and an increased focus on player stats to play to the fantasy players. That has brought the issue to a head this fall, and will play out in state-houses and Washington for the next few years.