Texas is latest state to rule DFS illegal

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has declared daily fantasy sports (DFS) illegal in the US state.


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has declared daily fantasy sports (DFS) illegal in the US state.

Paxton’s official ruling came after state representative Myra Crownover requested clarification of the law relating to the sector.

The Attorney General said that DFS counts as illegal gambling under Texas law, but found that traditional season-long fantasy games do not breach rules.

It is not yet clear whether Paxton will follow his New York counterpart Eric Schneiderman in attempting to prohibit fantasy sites from operating in Texas.

“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.

“Unlike some other states, Texas law only requires 'partial chance' for something to be gambling; it does not require that chance predominate.”

The ruling in Texas comes after attorney generals in New York, Illinois and Vermont also ruled that DFS violates state gambling laws.

DFS market leader DraftKings said it intended to continue operating in the state.

"We intend 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," DraftKings attorney Randy Mastro said.

Related article: New York AG amends lawsuit against DraftKings and FanDuel