Why did Ken Paxton say Fantasy Sports sites were illegal?



From Texas Standard:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has pledged to beat the odds and cancel online sports betting. Even if you don’t play fantastic sports every day, you’ve probably come across the names of the sites: Draft Kings, Fan Duel. They advertise endlessly, so you might be tempted to admit that this is a measure of their importance and popularity.

Despite this popularity, these sites may soon disappear from Texas. Paxton says sites that instruct players to compete cannot legally operate in the state.

Peggy fikac, Austin bureau chief for the San Antonio Express-News, has followed this development. In traditional fantasy sports, people choose teams of players based on their records and follow them throughout a season.

“These online sites allow people to choose new players every day or every week,” she says, “and they promise big payouts, maybe up to millions of dollars.”

The Attorney General’s opinion states: “Proponents of daily fantasy sports games argue that skill is needed to predict which players will perform best for their position in a particular game. It may well be true. However, Texas law does not require this jurisdiction. predominate. Instead of that… [it] requires only a partial chance for there to be a bet. “

Fikac says Paxton also made the distinction that gambling is when the “house” – or in this case, the site – takes a share. “He said the fact that there is an element of luck and the house takes a share means that this is gambling that has not been exempted from Texas anti-gambling laws. “, she says.

Paxton seems to have made an exception for personal pools created by friends or colleagues, to earn while playing fantastic sports. “He basically said everything was fine because there isn’t a house that takes a cut,” says Fikac.

Paxton’s opinion does not have the force of law, so what does this mean for everyday fantasy sports in Texas? Draft Kings has said it will continue to operate and FanDuel has not made its opinion public, Fikac said. If a district attorney filed a criminal complaint, the attorney general would be able to help, she said.

“His opinion, even if he doesn’t stop fantastic sports just yet,” said Fikac, “it would be looked at very carefully and weighed very carefully by the court.”

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