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With daily fantasy sports websites like FanDuel and DraftKings in apparent flux, thousands of Texans reportedly have sent letters to the state attorney general pleading with him to leave the industry alone.
Already, judges in New York and Illinois have stated that DFS sites are illegal gambling operations and have banned them from their respective states—an appeals court in New York overturned the order for now—and Lone Star State residents are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen in Texas.
Attorney General Ken Paxton has received more than 10,000 letters regarding DFS, and his spokesperson, via the Houston Chronicle, said the “overwhelming majority” of the correspondence supported the legality of FanDuel and DraftKings.
Most of that support came in the form of form letters from a fantasy sports alliance called the Fantasy Sports for All group.
Said the form letter: “I believe this is a matter of personal choice, and that the government has no business telling me I can’t play fantasy sports.”
With the latest opinions by judges in New York and Illinois—Nevada also has attempted to reign in the sites while the FBI has investigated their legality—a Texas state representative asked Paxton two months ago if DFS are legal in Texas, where gambling is illegal.
According to the Chronicle, FanDuel and DraftKings—both of which claim that their games are skills-based and not gambling—recently asked their Texas clients to make contact with elected officials to try to “protect” fantasy sports. The Fantasy Sports for All group says 2 million Texans play daily fantasy sports.
But here’s some seemingly good news for Texas DFS players. Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t seem to want to get involved.
“I also would be apprehensive about a state coming out and imposing regulations,” Abbott said in October. “If there was fraud in the way the practice was conducted, I think the fraud should be prosecuted. But I think there are laws in place that already exist that would allow either a state or a government or individuals to wage prosecution if that were a valid pathway.”
Unfortunately for FanDuel and DraftKings, the increased scrutiny of their sites occurred when a DraftKings content manager won $350,000 while playing on FanDuel the same week he accidently leaked potential inside data.
Photo via John Morgan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.