FanDuel and DraftKings filed lawsuits in Illinois today in separate attempts to remain operational within the state. The Boston Globe reports that both companies have asked courts to declare their daily fantasy sports businesses to be legal under Illinois law. If that doesn't happen, FanDuel and DraftKings face a shutdown.
"We intend to continue offering play in Illinois."
The lawsuits follow a decision earlier this week from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who wrote that "daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling" under state law. That means FanDuel and DraftKings are currently operating illegally in the eyes of the state. Both disagree, and they intend to continue operating until a court rules in either direction.
"We intend to continue offering play in Illinois until there has been a decision from a court on our lawsuit," FanDuel says in a statement, according to the Globe. DraftKings says it filed suit on an "expedited basis" asking that its business be declared legal.
As in other states where FanDuel and DraftKings are under fire, the issue in question is whether their businesses are legal games with outcomes dependent on a player's skill or whether they're essentially masked gambling operations. States have increasingly been leaning toward the latter. New York has gone hard after both companies, and Nevada has also pushed both to obtain gaming licenses.