Dew-Becker v. WuAnnotate this Case
Dew-Becker sued Wu, alleging that the two had engaged in a daily fantasy sports (DFS) contest on the FanDuel website; that Dew-Becker had lost $100 to Wu; and that the contest constituted illegal gambling so that Dew-Becker was entitled to recover the lost money under 720 ILCS 5/28-8(a). The circuit court rendered judgment in favor of Wu, finding that section 28-8(a) does not allow recovery when the gambling is not conducted between one person and another person. The appellate court affirmed.
The Illinois Supreme Court agreed that recovery is unavailable. The DFS contest was not gambling under section 28-8(a). A person commits gambling if he “knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b).” Subsection (b)(2) provides an exception to gambling for a participant in any contest that offers “prizes, award[s] or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength or endurance or to the owners of animals or vehicles entered in such contest.” That “DFS contests are predominately skill-based is not only widely recognized” but has created a potential revenue problem for the DFS websites. New and unskilled players are often hesitant to participate.