There has been a great disturbance in the NFL, as if millions of mopes suddenly grunted out in confusion, and were suddenly silenced. For, according to Variety, a New York judge has ordered fantasy-sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings to shut down operations in the state. New York Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez says that “the payment of an ‘entry fee’ as high as $10,600 could certainly be deemed risking ‘something of value,’” confirming that the sites promote online gambling.
Fantasy football—which is not as kinky as it sounds, but is that dorky—has arguably been a big influence in making the NFL what it is today. A weekly RPG campaign with linebackers instead of elves and wizards and no need for an eight-sided die has brought a whole new element, and a lot more money, to the average game day. Online sites like the aforementioned Draft Kings and FanDuel allow customers to pay an entry fee and win cash based on the performance of actual players in games that take place that day or week, which, the sites maintain, is somehow not gambling. How could it be, when Variety reports that a DraftKings employee won $350,000 in a FanDuel contest? That sounds like it was a sure thing.
FanDuel has said that it will appeal the ruling. In related news, Marc Maron and every other podcaster are now presumably looking for new advertisers.
UPDATE: According to Deadline, hours after the order to shut the sites down in New York State, an appeals court has granted DraftKings and FanDuel a temporary stay. The ruling will allow the sites to remain in business until an appeals hearing in January, saving Christmas for gamblers/football fans statewide.