Nets CEO backs FanDuel as New York orders cease-and-desist of daily fantasy sports

Nets & Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark (center). (AP)
Nets & Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark (center). (AP)
Nets & Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark (center). (AP)

Brett Yormark, the CEO for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, released a prepared statement in support of Daily Fantasy Sports site and Brooklyn Nets partner FanDuel, following news that New York state would outlaw the practice.

“FanDuel’s enormous popularity has helped to increase fan engagement as a sponsor of the Brooklyn Nets,” Yormark’s statement read. “We appreciate our on-going relationship with FanDuel and the company’s commitment to our organization.

“As we monitor the situation regarding daily fantasy sports, we are confident that FanDuel will continue to follow all applicable laws.”

In October 2014, the Brooklyn Nets finalized a partnership with Daily Fantasy Sports company FanDuel while on a trip in China as a part of NBA’s Global Games. The partnership between the two made FanDuel an official sponsor of the team, which included signage on the sideline at Barclays Center and mentions during television and radio broadcasts. The Nets also committed to giving out free tickets to their games to local community organizations on behalf of FanDuel.

Two large decals that promote FanDuel even sit directly on the sideline adjacent to Barclays Center’s herringbone court in front of the scorer’s table, in plain view during television broadcasts.

But New York residents watching Nets games locally on TV and in the arena may not be able to play the game at all.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent FanDuel and competitor DraftKings a cease-and-desist letter on behalf of the state, declaring that Daily Fantasy Sports constituted a game that “winning or losing depends on numerous elements of chance to a ‘material degree,'” which qualifies under state law as illegal gambling.

According to FanDuel, its contests will run as scheduled this weekend, and though they acknowledge the letter, also say that “no action is immediately required.” The site also says it will notify its users in New York should that status change.

Both sites have begun campaigns to reverse the decision, with FanDuel going so far as to order a rally in front of the Attorney General’s office Friday evening. According to Facebook, over 100 people have said they will attend.

Note: this article was updated to reflect that FanDuel is still active in New York despite the cease-and-desist letter.