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September 22, 2020

"There are a lot of misconceptions out there"

Texas Attorney General cautious on legality of daily fantasy sports

Texas Attorney General cautious on legality of daily fantasy sports
Daily fantasy sports operators are anxiously awaiting the opinion of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on the legality of daily fantasy sports under state law.
United States | 01/19/2016

Daily fantasy sports operators are anxiously awaiting the opinion of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on the legality of daily fantasy sports under state law.

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arket leaders DraftKings and FanDuel have been urging players to appeal to lawmakers not to ban their pastime, according to a weekend report on local television news station KXAN.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has also been active in lobbying Texas legislators. Association chairman Peter Schoenke told KXAN: “For a lot of legislators and attorney generals, this is the first time they’ve ever looked at fantasy sports and I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there that this is like slots or roulette or another gambling product. All of our companies would like to continue business in Texas, so that’s one of the reasons we’re trying to reach out to consumers.”

Lawmakers tasked Paxton back in November with a study of DFS and his opinion on its legality, and the AG’s report is due soon.

Texas law has a somewhat wider interpretation of gambling than the norm: in general it’s illegal to place a bet on a player or a game, but if the bet is made in a private place it's permissible. That raises the question of whether a personal mobile phone – or for that matter a private computer – constitutes a private channel, and that will be one of the elements the AG will be considering.

Paxton was cautious when approached by the television station for an update on his task. Refusing to give a firm view, he said; “I want to be fair to the process. We haven’t finished the opinion. We’re still drafting that. So, I don’t want to comment on how I interpret that.”

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