New York’s Attorney General wants daily fantasy sports operators FanDuel and DraftKings to return the money they made in the state, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
An addition to a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against the two companies filed last Thursday — New Year’s Eve — includes the request to give the money to players who lost cash on the services in 2015, as well as the demand that the companies pay fines related to the case.
It also reportedly argues that incentives offered to users who spent a certain amount of money on the services mimics tactics used by casinos to reward gamblers.
Both companies reiterated in statements to ESPN that they believe the lawsuit to be baseless.
The filing is part of an ongoing legal battle that could determine the fate of the fast-growing daily fantasy business in New York and act as a bellwether for legal actions against the companies.
Users can build virtual teams of real-life players through the website and win prizes if the players do well, similar to the traditional season-long fantasy sports played amongst friends and co-workers around the country. But users on DraftKings and FanDuel — and some smaller platforms — are able to build new teams on a daily or weekly basis in a wide range of sports.
Schneiderman and other critics of the sites say that they offer gambling by another name, while the companies say they constitute games of skill, rather than luck.
The New York lawsuit has already featured several twists. Last month, Schneiderman was given an injunction to stop the sites from operating in the state, but that ruling was overturned shortly thereafter.
The companies and the lawyers for the state will meet again when they argue before a panel of appellate judges over whether the injunction should be put in place while the case continues.