FSGA Supports PayPal Lawsuit Plaintiffs In Fight For Fantasy League Funds

Written By Stephen Andress on January 20, 2022
paypal lawsuit

The Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association has weighed in on a recent class-action lawsuit filed against PayPal, in which many of the plaintiffs describe having funds used for fantasy sports either frozen or seized by the payment service.

“The ability for fantasy sports commissioners and league participants to collect/send money safely and electronically is of paramount importance to the future of sports engagement,” the FGSA said in a statement sent to TheLines.

The last fantasy sports demographics study the FSGA commissioned was several years ago. At that time, its numbers showed nearly 60 million North American fantasy sports players and a potential North American market of about $7 billion. The ramifications of PayPal and Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, freezing and/or seizing fantasy sports entry fees is potentially massive.

“Over the past decade, the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association has worked hard to confirm the legality of paid fantasy sports contests with the passage of laws in 25 states (+ Puerto Rico). However, many of the most widely used payment platforms still do not recognize the legality of fantasy sports contests,” the statement continued.

PayPal’s terms and conditions state unless a gambling merchant has been approved by PayPal, “account holders may not use PayPal to send or receive payments for any form of gambling activities, including but not limited to payments for wagers, gambling debts, and gambling winnings.”

However, the plaintiffs in the PayPal lawsuit contend it is not legal to seize funds out of users’ accounts, even if it may be within the PayPal terms to ban users from their app/site.

“Anyone participating in a legal fantasy sports league should not fear reprisals from their payment platform. The FSGA supports individuals’ rights to have their legal electronic payments treated as such. The FSGA welcomes the opportunity to work with payment companies to aid an understanding of today’s legal sports engagement marketplace.”

Multiple attempts by TheLines to contact PayPal for comment or clarification on their terms and practices have gone unanswered.

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Stephen Andress

Stephen Andress joined Catena Media as Managing Editor of TheLines.com in March 2021. He began his career as a sports anchor and reporter in Eugene, OR before moving to Louisville, KY. There he covered the Kentucky Derby, Sugar Bowl and three consecutive Final Fours. Stephen later won an Emmy award while working for the Indianapolis Colts. More recently, he produced content for the PGA TOUR and multiple fantasy football and sports betting websites. Nothing has excited him more in his career than seeing legalized sports betting in the United States and the opportunity to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for it. His hobbies include kicking his high school friends' butts in fantasy football, Japanese whisky and Kentucky bourbon, golf outrights and supporting RIP Medical Debt, a charity which works to wipe out medical bills for those who have been unable to cover the cost of getting sick.

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