Texas AG says daily fantasy sports are likely illegal
By Aaron Todd
First, it was Eric Schneiderman in New York. Then, Illinois' Lisa Madigan joined the fray. Over the weekend, Vermont Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell announced that "daily fantasy sports violate Vermont's gambling laws."
Paxton's opinion comes as the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FTSA) meets in Dallas for its Winter Conference.
"Texas law does not require that skill predominate," Paxton's statement reads. "Instead, chapter 47 requires only a partial chance for there to be a bet … It is beyond reasonable dispute that daily fantasy leagues involve an element of chance regarding how a selected player will perform on game day.
"Odds are favorable that a court would conclude that participation in paid daily fantasy sports leagues constitutes illegal gambling."
To no one's surprise, FanDuel and DraftKings weren't too pleased with Paxton's conclusion.
"Today's advisory opinion by the Attorney General of Texas is founded on a misinterpretation of the law and misunderstanding of the facts about fantasy sports," said FanDuel in a statement.
"We strongly disagree with the Attorney General's prediction about what the courts may or may not do if ever presented with the issue of whether daily fantasy sports are legal under Texas law," said DraftKings. "The Attorney General's prediction is predicated on the fundamental misunderstanding of DFS."
Texas is the second-most populated state in the United States, with an estimated population of 27.5 million, according to the U.S. Census, or 8.5% of the entire U.S. population.
Both companies are still operating in Texas, and it seems unlikely that will change unless and until a court order forces them to do so, as Paxton did not ask the sites to cease their operations in the state.