Luck Or Skill? Daily Fantasy Sports Like DraftKings Splitting Conservative Texas Lawmakers

Ezekiel Elliott rumbles up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown run. The Dallas Cowboys get a victory, and you win money with your fantasy football team.Were you lucky or good?That's the question lawmakers aim to answer when they settle on whether to allow fantasy sport companies like FanDuel and DraftKings operate in Texas.At first glance, the issue doesn't appear a winner for the companies. Texas legislators have long shunned anything that resembles gambling. Last year Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion that because daily fantasy sports involve "partial chance," they qualify as gambling."Paid daily 'fantasy sports' operators claim they can legally operate as an unregulated house, but none of their arguments square with existing Texas law," Paxton wrote. "Simply put, it is prohibited gambling in Texas if you bet on the performance of a participant in a sporting event and the house takes a cut."But the issue has split conservative lawmakers. Some view it as a matter of protecting the free market and don't see fantasy sports as gaming. Others see the games as an expansion of gambling and fear racetracks and American Indian casinos could one day include machines to play fantasy sports.Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, seeks to settle the matter with a bill he's pushing this year."There's no difference between that and a fishing tournament or a golfing tournament," said Rep. Rodney Anderson, a Grand Prairie Republican who's co-sponsoring Raymond's bill. "It's me against everybody else."Still, the role of luck is a fact. Does a basket from Dirk Nowitzki in a blowout game that makes you money mean you were skilled in picking him that night?"As long as it maintains the characterization in the attorney general's opinion, I'm not in favor of it," said Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth. "The biggest part is when the house keeps a cut. How do you distinguish that from gambling?"Raymond disagrees."It is a game of skill, not a game of chance," he said. "If you don't think fantasy football is a game of skill, then you haven't played it."The anti-gambling lobby could be critical in the debate.  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us