Daily fantasy sports continues to be a hot topic in online gambling news, taking precedence over online poker at present. DFS regulation is being considered in California, with the state of Nevada also discussing the industry. New York’s AG was the first to qualify the activity as an illegal one and several attorney generals have followed suit. We have now learned that Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, has decided to write an opinion, declaring DFS an illegal activity under the state law as it is currently.
As they have done with other states, FanDuel and DraftKings have released a statement showing their disagreement with Paxton’s decision and it does not seem that the two are planning on removing services from the state.
Paxton does not seem to have an agenda against DFS operators and has not stated that he will be going after such sites as FanDuel or DraftKings. The opinion seems to have been issued after he was asked his stance by Myra Crownover, a Texas State Representative. Crownover requested that a ruling be made in regards to if DFS was legal in the state as well as if fantasy sports were considered legal based on if the house did not take a rake.
In response to the legality of DFS, Paxton stated that while skill does have a role with contests of daily fantasy sports, it is unequivocally true that chance also plays a role. Under Texas law, it does not require that skill be a predominate factor. Chapter 47 states that only a partial chance for there to be a bet must be present.
Paxton also responded to arguments by DFS operators that the players are actual contestants. Paxton ruled that actual contestants are individuals who are athletes such as baseball, football, etc. To reiterate his point, Paxton stated that a person taking part in a golf tournament who wins a prize would be considered an actual contestant but an individual who does not play but wagers on the event would be considering gambling under the state law.
In response to Paxton’s opinion, FanDuel stated that the opinion is a misinterpretation of the law and a misunderstanding of the facts about fantasy sports. DraftKings also showed their disagreement with the opinion in a statement, stating that Texas Legislature has authorized games of skill and daily fantasy sports is a game of skill.
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