Texas Lawmaker Plans To Introduce DFS Legislation

by Jim Hall

Richard Peña RaymondRegulation of DFS contests is on the mind of many US legislators, including in the state of Texas.

For years, daily fantasy sports contests took place within the United States with no issues. That is, until last year. In 2015 and into this year, many states decided to rule the gaming option an illegal gambling activity and sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings had to stop offering services. Over the past few months, several states have started to look at regulating the DFS industry and laws have been passed to do so. It seems the state of Texas is the latest to jump on the DFS legislation bandwagon.

DFS Legislation to Come

According to the Texas Tribune, a lawmaker in the state of Texas has plans to introduce a bill that would provide regulations for the daily fantasy sports industry. If the bill were to pass into law, clarity would be provided in a legal sense in regards to the industry. Currently, DraftKings offers DFS contests in the state while FanDuel does not.

Representative Richard Peña Raymond has plans to propose legislation of which he has already drafted. The representative says the bill will classify fantasy sports as a game of skill and not one of chance. A bill would render a decision by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton null and void, that the gaming option is considered illegal gambling based on the constitution. When this opinion was formed, FanDuel left the state while DraftKings continued to fight the opinion.

Surprisingly the bill was drafted due to constituents who felt the opinion of the attorney general was wrong and not from the request of the DFS operators. The bill was written based on input that individuals gave the representative, stating that they do not believe the AG is right in his decision.

How Long Will It Take?

While having a proposal on the table in regards to DFS gaming is great for the state, it may be some time before the measure will even be introduced or come to pass. Texas legislator will not be back in session until January of next year. So it means that any movement of the measure would take months before it would even be considered.

However, this does give legislators months to consider the option and provides the representative with the option to lobby for his cause. Many states across the US are looking at DFS so it makes sense for lawmakers to look at the activity and consider regulations in Texas. it seems more states are leaning towards regulations to earn revenues as well as provide consumer protections for gamers who are taking part in the activity anyways.

A Little Background

DFS gaming was able to operate easily in Texas until earlier their year. Paxton seemed to jump on the same bandwagon as other AG’s who decided that DFS operations were illegal. In his opinion, Paxton stated:

Paxton's Quote

The opinion by the AG did not result in an immediate removal of services by operators. Both FanDuel and DraftKings spoke out against the opinion and waited until the month of March to take action. FanDuel left the state while DraftKings has been fighting in court.

For now, we know that legislation is being created and Texas may eventually join the list of states in the US that has regulations in place in regards to DFS gaming.