Citigroup to Block N.Y. Residents’ Cards on Daily Fantasy Sports Websites
Feb. 8, 2016
Online daily fantasy sports sites received another blow on Friday when the nation’s largest payment-card issuer said it would block its New York credit and debit card holders from making transactions at sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Only a week ago , payments processor Vantiv reportedly dropped the companies as customers. According to a Citigroup statement, until courts in New York have ruled on the legality of online daily fantasy sports, the company will block payments to those Websites.
The legal and regulatory environment for online daily sports fantasy is unsettled at best. While attorneys general in seven states have declared that the sites should be illegal, other states have come to the opposite conclusion. On Thursday, for instance, Rhode Island AG Peter Kilmartin released an opinion in favor of classifying the sites as legal “games of skill.”
DraftKings has not responded to the move by Citigroup yet and FanDuel, the other major player in online daily fantasy sports in the U.S. said it was “unaware of Citigroup’s attempts to prohibit their New York based customers from playing fantasy sports,” [but that] “there are various payment options and companies that allow their customers to make their own decision about what fantasy sports they can play.”