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Crownover asks for AG ruling on sports fantasy websites

The question of whether fantasy sports betting websites constitute gambling in Texas will get a review from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

State Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, wants Paxton and his office to determine whether the sites are illegal under Texas law. 

In her letter, Crownover noted to Paxton that “the Legislature has generally criminalized gambling, which can involve making a ‘bet’ on ‘the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest.’”

Paxton’s ruling will be of interest to broadcasters as state law prohibits the promotion of illegal activities. 

An official AG opinion on the question carries the effect of law unless or until a court were to overrule it.

As such, any question on whether such sites were illegal under Texas law would be clear.

Last week New York’s attorney general said betting sites FanDuel and DraftKings are illegal in that state and ordered them to stop accepting bets in New York. 

The State of Nevada has taken similar action.

A component of the sites’ advertising is the promise of large payoffs to participants.

Earlier this year Gov. Greg Abbott downplayed the idea of state regulations targeting fantasy sports.

Abbott said fraud should be prosecuted but laws already exist to deal with wrongdoing.

TAB will update stations once the AG’s office has issued a formal opinion.

Questions? Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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