Texas Attorney General: Daily Fantasy Sports betting is prohibited

According to Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, DFS betting contravenes with Texas’ laws concerning gambling. Texas’ law characterizes gambling as a game with ‘partial chance’ which is a stricter interpretation than how other states handle gambling.

 

Paxton stated it is “beyond reasonable dispute that daily fantasy leagues involve an element of chance regarding how a selected player will perform on game day.” With this statement he counters the claims of sport operations that DFS is skill based. Paxton continued: “Paid daily fantasy sports operators claim they can legally operate as an unregulated house, but none of their arguments square with existing Texas law. Simply put, it is prohibited gambling in Texas if you bet on the performance of a participant in a sporting event and the house takes a cut.”

 

DFS let’s people create their own team of existing sports stars, earning points based on the outcome of the actual events. DFS has had a significant growth of 75% in the last 5 years, with 32 million players in 2010 and more than 56 million players in 2015.

 

Randy Mastro, communicator of DraftKings, one of the leading fantasy sports sites, said they didn’t agree with Paxton: “The Texas legislature has expressly authorized games of skill, and daily fantasy sports are a game of skill. Paxton’s prediction is predicated on a fundamental misunderstanding of daily fantasy sports. We intend to continue to operate openly and transparently in Texas, so that the millions of Texans who are fantasy sports fans can continue to enjoy the contests they love.”

 

Paxton admitted that there may be skill recquired to predict who will do good. However, according to Texas law, it is illegal to make a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest. He concluded: “Accordingly, odds are favorable that a court would conclude that participation in DFS leagues is illegal gambling.”

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