ONE Texas State officials seem determined to legalize daily fantasy sportsthat are already being played in the state.
MP Joe Moody filed HB 393This would define daily fantasy sports as a game of skill and make it legal to win prizes in DFS competitions.
However, the bill does not provide a path for potential sports betting in Texas. Moody specifically states that the outcome of a competition cannot be based on the performance of any individual sports team or athlete.
Should it happen, HB 393 would come into effect September 1, 2021.
Try again to legalize daily fantasy sports in Texas
It could be an uphill battle for Moody and his DFS bill when it comes to the opposite chamber. Moody and others sponsored HB 2303 in the 2019This is an identical bill to next year’s HB 393.
It easily passed the house on one 116-26 Vote, but never acted in the Senate.
Texas only holds a regular legislature in odd years, so there was no attempt to legalize the DFS this year.
Daily fantasy sports were already played in Texas
Both DraftKings and FanDuel Accept players from Texas, so Moody isn’t exactly ushering in a new industry Lone Star State.
Moody’s calculation defines DFS competitions simply as games of skill, not games of chance. If they were gambling, they would be considered illegal under Texas law.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding statement in 2016 entitled DFS Contests Gambling.
“The law itself in the penal code is not clear whether the behavior of nearly 4 million Texans can be caught and criminalized,” he told the Austin American-Statesman in 2019.
How necessary is HB 393?
With no regulatory system or tax plan proposed, HB 393 does not really affect DFS on the industrial side. It’s more about protecting components.
Moody told the American statesman that he did not know any Texan who had been prosecuted for participating in a DFS competition, but believed the bill was necessary.
“As a former prosecutor and with the understanding that the discretion lies with a few hundred prosecutors across the state, it only takes one person who thinks this is wrong to call a number of people,” he said in an interview.