DraftKings Payment Processor Is Asking a New York Court for Help

December 31, 2015, 6:13 PM UTC
Online Fantasy Sports Sites, FanDuel And DraftKings, Under Scrutiny Of Government
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: The fantasy sports website DraftKings is shown on October 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. DraftKings and its rival FanDuel have been under scrutiny after accusations surfaced of employees participating in the contests with insider information. An employee recently finished second in a contest on FanDuel, winning $350,000. Nevada recently banned the sites. (Photo illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images

Calling itself a bystander caught between conflicting court rulings, a payment processor for DraftKings asked a New York judge to decide whether it may continue its work for the daily fantasy sports site, which the state’s attorney general says promotes illegal gambling.

Vantiv requested a ruling on its rights and obligations with respect to processing payments for DraftKings in a filing on Wednesday with a state court in Manhattan.

DraftKings and rival FanDuel are challenging New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Nov. 10 demands that they stop taking bets in the state, where each has claimed to have more than a half million players.

In its filing, Vantiv said it cannot simultaneously comply with a temporary order from a Massachusetts judge that it process payments for DraftKings customers, and a preliminary injunction from a New York judge that bars DraftKings from doing business in that state.

The Symmes Township, Ohio-based company said there is more uncertainty because a New York state appeals court has put the injunction on hold, and may decide as soon as Jan. 4 whether to extend it.

“Although Vantiv is a bystander to DraftKings and the Attorney General’s dispute, it is substantially impacted by these conflicting court decisions,” Vantiv said.

“Vantiv understandably is uncertain of its obligations and rights,” it added. “An expedited determination is requested and required given the fast-moving legal landscape.”

A spokesman for Schneiderman declined to comment on Thursday. A lawyer for Vantiv did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

David Boies, a lawyer for DraftKings, in a statement said daily fantasy sports is a “game of skill” under New York law, and a ruling to that effect from the state appeals court would “remove the uncertainty” for players and business partners.