FanDuel will leave Texas in May but DraftKings will fight on

The latest in the saga that is the daily fantasy sports legal battles in the States is that FanDuel will be leaving Texas in May, whilst DraftKings has decided to continue to fight for the legal recognition of its paid DFS contests in the state. Texas

This is particularly big news as Texas is responsible for a significant chunk of DFS players. Research by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming reported that in 2015 Texas accounted for around 8% of of the total market of active players. Whilst Texans will be able to continue to play FanDuel’s free games, this is expected to hit it hard and the operator’s three deals with franchises in Texas could be cause for further concern.

In an email sent out to its customers a FanDuel statement said this: “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.”

It continued: “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.”

From May 2nd, as things stand, FanDuel will be operating in 41 US states.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said: “I commend FanDuel for responsibly and pro-actively working with us to reach this settlement. This will spare both the company and the taxpayers of Texas the expense of an extensive lawsuit that I believe would only affirm what my office has already determined.”

In the case of DraftKings, Randy Mastro, DraftKings Counsel said this in a statement: “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.”

The Texas Attorney General’s office declined to comment on the matter of DraftKings.

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