The parent company of DraftOps, Emil Interactive has lost their argument to dismiss a lawsuit by the Minnesota Wild that would require them to pay $1.1 in missed payments plus other costs.
Details of the DraftOps Argument Against Minnesota Wild Lawsuit
In arguing against the lawsuit, DraftOps has maintained that they are not required to pay the Minnesota Wild the $1.1 million for a sponsorship deal they had agreed to in September 2015. The argument used by DraftOps/Emil Interactive was that daily fantasy sports was illegal in the state of Minnesota and thus the contract should be void.
It was a bold move from a company that had previously operated due a widely-held belief that the games are legal. A Minnesota Wild attorney called it “the most bizarre argument I’ve ever seen.” It was also one which some feel could ultimately hurt the industry.
The federal judge that decided the case did not address the question of legality, which said it was not relevant to the issue at hand. That status of daily fantasy sports in Minnesota is similar to many other states which have not expressly legalized or restricted the games. Daily fantasy sports sites are generally comfortable operating in these states due to a 2006 UIGEA carve out that traditional fantasy sports received. The debate on whether daily fantasy sports is protected under the same law has been hotly debated.
In addition to $1.1 in missed payments, the lawsuit also asks for 1.5% interest per month and more than $50,000 in damages. The Minnesota Wild have said that no payments were ever made.
DraftOps Players Stuck in Limbo
DraftOps was among a newer crop of DFS sites that showed promise during 2015 when buzz around DFS was at a fever pitch. Since then, DraftOps has quietly faded from the daily fantasy sports scene as the DFS industry came under increased pressure over the last year.
DraftOps, whose website is currently down, has not been operational during the peak of this year’s daily fantasy football season. Their social media accounts have not been updated since early last year. More importantly, many players have indicated that they have yet to be paid since the site went offline. With the DraftOps website not operational and apparently no contact available, these players are stuck in limbo.