Daily Fantasy Company Continues to Attempt to Skirt Sponsorship Payment and Subsequent Sanctions

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In the continuing saga over a sponsorship contract for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, online daily fantasy company Emil Interactive Games LLC made yet another attempt to avoid paying. Previously, the Wild brought suit for breach of contract over $1.1 million in unpaid sponsorship fees to which Emil Interactive tried profusely to shield itself from paying by challenging the legality of its own business. As a result, the Wild called for sanctions against Emil Interactive for meritless and prolonged motion practice.

=In their response in opposition to the Wild’s motion for sanctions, Emil Interactive continued to reiterate that their operation is illegal in Minnesota and thus the case should be dismissed and the contract void. Specifically, they continue to cite Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn’s decision that Daily Fantasy is illegal because there is currently no regulatory law which governs the gambling activity. Additionally, Emil Interactive cites a March 2015 decision in Minnesota to reject a bill which would see daily fantasy sports regulated in the state. In opposition, the Wild previously stated in their motion that these claims are frivolous and meritless because the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and Emil Interactive’s own website assert that such games are, in fact, legal. These legal, factual, and ethical inaccuracies are the basis for the motion for sanctions.

This case stems from an advertising sponsorship deal between the Wild and Emil Interactive. However, Emil Interactive failed to fulfill their obligation, racking up a $1.1 million balance owed. The Wild filed suit in Minnesota state court before removing to federal court on May 25, 2016. On June 1, 2016 Emil Interactive filed a motion to dismiss at which point the Wild sought sanctions on July 6, 2016.

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