Despite Failure Of Legislation Legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports In Texas, It Will Go On

Chris Fox
May 31, 2019 - 11:27 am
Texas Capitol Building

© F11photo | Dreamstime.com

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - In 2016 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton concluded Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) violated the State’s gambling laws, but yet no charges have ever been filed. The big three, FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo all still accept Texas Residents.

To alleviate the problem State Representative Joe Moody filed legislation to clean up the issue. When he laid out the bill on the House floor Moody said, “House Bill 2303 (HB 2303) simply seeks to clarify state law and confirm that skills-based fantasy sports are legal and therefore not an act of gambling.”

The bill passed overwhelmingly in the Texas House 116 Yeas, 26 Nays, 1 Present not voting. It was then referred to the Senate Business & Commerce Committee where it never came up for debate. 

The Legislature’s failure to address the problem leaves Texans interested in playing DFS in kind of a precarious position.  Daniel Wallach of the Sports Wagering and Integrity Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law says he doesn’t think they have anything to worry about. “There have been no efforts to rigidly enforce the law against any Fantasy Sports operator or player. When the Attorney General (Ken Paxton) issued his opinion…he indicated that this is an issue that should be taken up by the Legislature. He didn’t sound the alarm bells or suggest that enforcement efforts would be forthcoming…They will not be happening.”

This sentiment was echoed by a source in the Attorney General’s office who stated that local DA’s have never filed charges against DFS operators or players and there was no anticipation of anything changing.

Wallach’s message to those interested in playing DFS in Texas is: “I think the result of all this is nothing will change. FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo will continue to offer Fantasy Sports contests to Texas residents and we’ll probably have to wait another year or two before there is clarity at least in the statutes.”