Illinois Lawyer suing Fantasy Sports Sites DraftDay and FanDuel
Unlike casino games and poker, fantasy sports are considered to be games of skill by the US government. However, an Illinois lawyer named Christopher Langone is seeking to challenge this ruling by suing two of the biggest online fantasy sports sties.
Langone began his legal warfare against fantasy sports by suing FanDuel earlier this year. The lawsuit seeks to recover third-party betting losses that FanDuel paid to Patrick Kaiser, who is one of the site’s best players. Langone’s argument is that these fantasy sports games are predominantly governed by luck, rather than skill, and should be illegal under Illinois law. This case is currently being reviewed by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Just a couple of days ago, Langone launched a second lawsuit against DraftDay. Once again, he wants to claim third-party losses on the grounds that DraftDay is offering illegal, chance-based games. This suit is being looked at by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
In both situations, Chrisopher Langone believes that HE is entitled to the third-party losses on FanDuel and DraftDay. He points to a longstanding Illinois statute derived from England’s Statute of Queen Anne; this would entitle Langone to any lawsuit winnings, provided no DraftDay or FanDuel players come forward with their own cases.
This is a pretty historic case in US online gaming history because, up until now, nobody has challenged the legal implication that fantasy sports are skilled-based. And no matter how self-serving Langone’s lawsuits may be, they could go a long ways towards defining the legal status of fantasy sports in America.
There are few precedents on this matter when looking at other US states. But the US District Court for the District of New Jersey did imply that “full-season” fantasy games involve a great deal of skill. However, DraftDay and FanDuel deal with “daily” fantasy games, where players fill out a different lineup(s) every night. So it is possible that a court of law could view this differently from season-long leagues.