FanDuel Caves to Texas, DraftKings Continues to Fight
The fight for legality of daily fantasy sports rages on, this time with news breaking out of Texas. Per reports, FanDuel has reached an agreement to cease the acceptance of real money players out of Texas by May 2nd, while DraftKings has decided to keep fighting for it’s players rights in the state.
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton acknowledged in a statement release this past week that his office had orchestrated a deal with FanDuel, which agreed to prevent future real-money transactions with Texas residents. In return, Paxton’s office has promised not to “take any legal action” against one of the leading DFS operators for any past activities in the state.
The same can’t be said for DraftKings, which has stayed strong on it’s stance that DFS is not illegal in the state of Texas. DraftKings has taken a strong-armed approach in most states that have either battled back against the industy out-right or have at least questioned the legality of DFS.
Paxton’s office let it be known back in January that they had determined daily fantasy sports to be “prohibited gambling” due to the state’s direct stance against any betting on events determined either “solely or partially by chance”.
In responses to Paxton’s declaration, DraftKings hasn’t backed down, formally issuing a suit in Texas for lawmakers to decide once and for all if DFS is in fact legal or not.
Only one state (New York) has actually issued charges against either DFS company to this point, but Texas could very soon become the second. DraftKings pushing back with a suit of their own may demand an answer from Paxton and his office, although it may be some time before any legal course is exercised from the Texas attorney general.
DraftKings attorney Randy Mastro seemed confident in the site’s ability to defend their stance, claiming that daily fantasy sports are “perfectly legal under Texas law”.
While DraftKings continues to fight, FanDuel is protecting itself and bowing out while DK fights their battle in Texas. It’s a big loss for one of the top daily fantasy sports operators, as Texas counted an estimated 8% of the total DFS player pool in the United States.
It remains to be determined what will come of DFS’ legality in Texas and across the nation, but FanDuel is at least covering it’s bases and preventing further suits that could cripple them as they try to stand tall in this ever-growing legal fight.
Kansas is the only standing state to honor DFS as completely legal, passing a bill in 2015. As many as 28 other states are still going through the process of defining state laws in an effort to gain clarity on their stance on daily fantasy sports. Stay tuned.
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