A class-action suit aimed at daily fantasy operators DraftKings and FanDuel, as well as major credit card companies, banks and payment processors, has been filed in the Southern District of New York.
The named plaintiff, Yehuda Guttman, says he is "one of thousands of people who have wagered and lost money through FanDuel's and DraftKings' illegal sports gambling websites" and alleges banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Merrick Bank and Capital One, lent money and/or credit that was used to wager on the daily fantasy sites.
Credit card companies Visa, MasterCard and American Express and payment processors Paysafecard.com and Vantiv also were named in the suit.
The suit states that New York prohibits the enforcement or collection of debts issued for illegal gambling. Both Visa and American Express declined to comment to ESPN on the matter.
The plaintiff is requesting damages in the form of restitution for the past six years and an injunction permanently preventing the companies from engaging in the alleged unlawful practices going forward.
Throughout their rise from startups to billion-dollar companies, daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel have said their offerings are games of skill and not a form of gambling. But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has declared daily fantasy sports as illegal gambling that violates the state's gambling laws. Schneiderman has filed for a preliminary injunction to force FanDuel and DraftKings to stop operations in the Empire State. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in New York Supreme Court.
Dozens of class-action suits have been filed against the daily fantasy operators in the past three months, after a DraftKings employee in September inadvertently published roster data not available to the public and subsequently won $350,000 playing in an NFL contest on FanDuel. The controversy set off accusations of insider trading, created a firestorm of media coverage and led to the surge of class-action suits that have been filed against daily fantasy operators.