Daily Fantasy

Daily Fantasy Sports in Texas: FanDuel Leaving & DraftKings Fighting

By March 9, 2016No Comments
Texas Fantasy Football Laws

It appears that DraftKings and FanDuel have chosen different fates in Texas.

The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that the state reached a settlement with FanDuel that would have them leave the state by May 2, 2016.

Previously, Paxton offered his opinion that DFS constitutes gambling under state law.

Despite the settlement with FanDuel, it appears that one isn't coming from DraftKings.

DraftKings counsel Randy Mastro offered the following statement about its filing in Texas:

“DraftKings is working collaboratively with legislatures and Attorneys General across the country to put in place a regulatory framework for our contests with thoughtful and appropriate consumer protections. Even so, due to recent actions in Texas, the company has today taken the responsible and unavoidable step of seeking a declaratory judgement to bring clarity to its legal situation.  We look forward to presenting evidence to demonstrate that Daily Fantasy Sports are skill-based games and perfectly legal under Texas law, certainly no less so than other kinds of skill-based contests. We are committed to ensuring that our fans can continue to enjoy the contests they love.”

FanDuel sent the following email to it's users in Texas:

Dear Texas Fans: 
We have some important news to share regarding our contests for users in Texas. As you may know, fantasy sports was founded in Texas more than four decades ago.  In 2009, FanDuel was formed at Austin’s SXSW Interactive Festival, paving the way for millions of sports fans to play fantasy in a whole new way.  We are proud of the business we’ve built, our ability to innovate fantasy sports and create a new product that fans love.
We believe FanDuel has always been legal in Texas and strongly disagree with the recent advisory opinion of the Attorney General, but understand that the laws surrounding fantasy sports require clarity.  As such, we have worked with the Texas Attorney General to map out our plan to wind down our operations in Texas, suspending paid contests on May 1st.  The Texas legislature will be in session in 2017 and we will work to pass legislation that protects fantasy sports and consumers so that we can bring our paid contests back to Texans as soon as possible.  
In the meantime:
– Users will still be able to participate in free head to head challenges and leagues after May 1st.
– As has always been the case, users in Texas can withdraw their funds at anytime. Users can also play FanDuel when visiting other states in which FanDuel continues to operate paid-contests.
Please follow us at www.FantasySportsForAll.com and let your lawmakers know that you support fantasy sports.  We have more than 20+ bills in state legislatures across the country that safeguard fantasy sports and provide consumer protections.  It is our intent to work with the Texas legislature to pass a similar bill in 2017, when back in session. Your support will help ensure that all fantasy companies are able to continue to operate in Texas.
Thank you for your support,

FanDuel users have until May 1st to enjoy playing DFS in the state. For those that play on DraftKings or elsewhere, you have some more time to spare.

Nick Schreck