Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared daily fantasy sports illegal in his state Tuesday, putting more pressure on the embattled industry and leading sites DraftKings and FanDuel.
"It's my duty as Attorney General to look to the law, as passed by the people's representatives, to answer the questions put to this office," Paxton said in a statement. "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.
"These sites are also wrong in claiming an actual-contestant exception, which applies only to contestants in an actual skill or sporting event," Paxton added. "And unlike some other states, Texas law only requires 'partial chance' for something to be gambling; it does not require that chance predominate."
Interestingly enough, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association is holding its winter meeting in Dallas with Mavs owner Mark Cuban the keynote speaker.
"If Attorney General Paxton is truly concerned about the small businesses that operate in Texas and the millions of people in Texas who enjoy fantasy sports, he would stop grandstanding and start working with the FSTA and the Texas Legislature on common sense consumer protection issues like those being proposed in Massachusetts, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, California and other forward-looking states," the FSTA said in a statement. "Paxton's deliberate misinterpretation of existing Texas law represents the type of governmental overreach that he himself professes to reject. The FSTA vehemently opposes today's opinion.”
- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com