Earlier this week, New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, ruled that DraftKings and FanDuel were to stop taking bets from fantasy football players through their services in a landmark decision nationally. The decision was made after it was determined that daily fantasy sports was online sports gambling, which is illegal in the state.
The two biggest daily fantasy sports sites would go on to file separate lawsuits against Schneiderman.
It hasn’t even been a week, and DraftKings is finding a way to circumvent the ruling in addition to their lawsuit. Allowing proxy servers to access their platform is allowing people to disguise their computer’s location, the New York Times conducted an experiment that allowed it to be available to people who were using a proxy server in the states in which its been deemed illegal. It’s still unavailable for people without proxy servers, however.
On Thursday, for example, The Times tried to log on to DraftKings from Des Moines without a proxy and was informed that the user was in a restricted state and could not gain access to the site.
Moments later, when the proxy was activated and the computer’s Internet protocol address appeared to originate from Los Angeles, the connection was allowed.
A user clicked to play the “$15 million fantasy football world champ qualifier” for a deposit of $5, choosing Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers as the quarterback and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs as the tight end, among other players.
But, here’s the kicker: Proxy servers and VPN’s and the like that disguise a location are easily affordable and probably worth the 6 or 7 bucks a month to continue betting if you’re a real degenerate gambler. Don’t think filling out a weekly fantasy football lineup and betting money on it is gambling? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
FanDuel does not allow access to their platform using proxy servers or VPN’s, so right now, they probably don’t have anything to worry about. Is it a loophole DraftKings is exploiting? Absolutely. Could it continue to do long-term damage to their brand? You bet. But, they’re also trying to cover their ass.
In contrast, FanDuel would not allow access via a proxy from any of the states where daily fantasy is considered illegal, The Times found. In Iowa, the FanDuel site noted that the user was in a “restricted location” and would not allow any betting.
In a statement, DraftKings said The Times had fraudulently gained access to its site.
Deliberate technique to circumvent? Or, the digital loophole that will allow DraftKings to continue taking bets in New York? You decide.