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Dish Network Top Lawyer R. Stanton Dodge Exits to Join DraftKings

Dish Network general counsel R. Stanton Dodge is leaving the satellite operator after 21 years to join daily fantasy-sports site DraftKings as chief legal officer.

Dodge assumes the role at Boston-based DraftKings on Nov. 6, reporting to CEO and co-founder Jason Robins.

“Stanton will be a major driver and enabler of DraftKings’ future growth as we continue to evolve and expand into new lines of business around the world,” Robins said in a statement.

With Dodge’s departure, Dish appointed Tim Messner to the role of general counsel effective Oct. 23. Messner, previously Dish’s SVP and deputy general counsel, will report to chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen.

DraftKings, founded in 2012, has faced regulatory resistance in its efforts to expand in the fast-growing fantasy-sports sector — in which fans can win real money in daily contests. This summer, DraftKings and rival FanDuel called off their planned merger after the Federal Trade Commission said it would sue to block the deal on antitrust grounds.

Both DraftKings and FanDuel also have been blocked by governments that have viewed their services as tantamount to gambling. Over the last two years, DraftKings has lobbied for laws to permit daily fantasy sports in more than a dozen states in the U.S. The company also obtained a first-of-its-kind “controlled skill games license” from the Malta Gaming Authority, which DraftKings said allowed it to launch in Germany, Malta, Ireland and Austria.

In announcing Dodge’s hire, DraftKings noted that while at Dish he led the legal team that successfully defended the company’s Hopper DVR against Fox Broadcasting’s claims it illegally let customers automatically skip TV commercials.

Dodge will remain on the board of directors at Dish’s sister company, EchoStar.

DraftKings has raised about $600 million to date from investors including 21st Century Fox’s Fox Sports, Revolution Growth, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Madison Square Garden Co., the Kraft Group, the Raine Group and Wellington Management Co.

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