Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion today on daily paid fantasy sports sites that found that these sites run counter to Texas law.
In mid-November, Texas House Representative Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas) asked the Texas Attorney General to answer two questions involving fantasy sports leagues.
First, she requested a legal opinion on whether Texas law permits daily fantasy sports leagues such as DraftKings.com and FanDuel.com, and second, whether it is legal to participate in fantasy sports leagues where the house does not take a “rake” and the participants 0nly wager among themselves.
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Attorney General Paxton stated, “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.”
The Texas attorney general said that the legal opinion concludes that fantasy sports leagues are, as a general rule, legal in Texas. He explained that in those leagues, players generally split any pot among themselves and there is no house that takes a cut. It is the House getting profits that makes the sport impermissible.
He said the sites were wrong in claiming an actual-contestant exception. He explained, that exception applies only to contestants in an actual skill or sporting event.
The major distinction, unlike such places as New York or Nevada to name just a few states, Texas law only requires “partial chance” for something to be illegal gambling. It does not require that chance predominate.
Attorney General Ken Paxton concluded, “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.”
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2