DraftKings escalates its NY legal fight

DraftKings cofounder Jason Robins.

DraftKings, the embattled Boston-based online fantasy sports startup, filed suit on Friday against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for attempting to “bully” the company into halting operations in the Empire State.

Schneiderman announced Tuesday that he had sent cease and desist orders to DraftKings and its New York competitor, FanDuel, on grounds that their daily online contests constitute illegal gambling.

“The Attorney General, misreading New York’s gambling laws, is attempting to bully DraftKings and its vendors into immediately shutting down DraftKings’ New York operations before it even has a chance to defend itself,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in state supreme court.

DraftKings has been operating in New York since 2012, and during that time, no state prosecutor has brought gambling charges against the company, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that Schneiderman engaged in “public slander,” and that his ban on DraftKings constitutes a “shocking overreach.”

“Today, we have taken decisive legal action to prevent a unilateral, misinformed and legally misguided attempt by the New York Attorney General to act as ‘judge, jury and executioner’ for daily fantasy sports in New York,” the company said in a statement released to the media. “We are asking the New York Supreme Court to rule that the Attorney General’s cease-and-desist letter is unconstitutional, an abuse of discretion, and simply wrong. We are confident in our legal position and intend to continue to fight to preserve the right of the over 500,000 New York consumers to play the fantasy sports games they love.”

Your turn, Mr. Schneiderman.