Poll: Most New York voters believe daily fantasy sports illegal, agree with legal fight

ALBANY, N.Y. – Two-thirds of New York voters agree with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that daily fantasy sports games constitute gambling and are illegal in the state, according to a poll released Monday.

The Siena College poll of 822 registered voters last week found 66 per cent agree with Schneiderman, while 34 per cent believe the games are mainly skill-based and legal as the companies maintain.

Schneiderman has sued market dominators DraftKings and FanDuel to stop them from taking New Yorkers’ entry fees. Justice Manuel Mendez on Friday granted Schneiderman’s request to temporarily halt the activity while he rules, but an appeals court blocked that order.

That allows FanDuel and DraftKings to keep operating in New York through at least next month. A full panel of the judges will then rule on whether the companies can do business in in the state while the court process unfolds.

The companies say they have hundreds of thousands of players in New York who choose teams of individual professional athletes before actual games and can win depending on how they perform collectively.

Boston-based DraftKings has continued operating in the state. New York-based FanDuel said it suspended New York play because of the chilling effect of Schneiderman’s moves on the bank and other processors handling its transactions.

Schneiderman, who says the games constitute illegal betting based materially on chance, has declined to comment on the politics of his actions and whether it could cost him politically among daily fantasy sports players and sports fans. His office also declined to comment on the Siena poll.

The poll also showed 30 per cent of New York voters have a favourable opinion of Schneiderman, 22 per centunfavourable and 49 per cent didn’t know or had no opinion. His numbers haven’t changed since an October poll, said Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

“And nearly two-thirds of voters agree with him,” Greenberg said. “Now, the three per cent of New Yorkers who play these games, they are a passionate group who if any ever supported Eric Schneiderman, probably won’t anymore and never will.”

The Siena poll has a margin of error of four percentage points.