Bill Would Confirm the Legality of Fantasy Sports in Texas

A measure filed in the Texas Legislature would confirm once and for all that so called 'daily fantasy' sports contests like 'Draft Kings' are in fact legal in Texas and are not illegal gambling, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The games became super popular in Texas in 2016, but pulled back the last two years due to an Attorney General's opinion, which is not law, that the games amount to illegal gambling.

Scott Dunaway of the Texas Fantasy Sports Allliance, says fantasy sports is a game of skill.

"19 different states have approved fantasy sports specific legislation confirming that fantasy sports are not gambling, that they are a game of skill."

In most fantasy sports 'leagues,' either organized through for profit entities like Draft Kings, or loosely put together by friends or customers at a bar, generally involes 'drafting' players in a sport, and then getting points based on how that athlete performs during a game, usually using a rubric that involves points scored, catches, throws, blocks, and other achievements.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said fantasy sports is gambling because the player has no impact over the outcome, and it amounts to gambling because the player has to pay a fee to participate.

But Dunaway compares fantasy sports to a fishing competition, where participants win prizes for catching the most fish, or a certain type of fish.

He says fantasy sports are becoming more popular, regardless of what Ken Paxon says.

"Three of the top ten fantasy sports markets in the country are in Texas," he said. "Dallas Ft. Worth, Austin, and El Paso."

IMAGE: GETTY

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