[toc]Billionaire Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said the legalization of sports betting in the United States is “inevitable,” according to an interview with Fortune.
Much of the interview turned on eSports — Cuban is an investor in the esports betting platform Unikrn as well as virtual reality technology. But the interview moved to fantasy sports and sports betting at the end.
His comments might be a preview of what Cuban will say in his keynote address at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Winter Conference, being held Jan. 19-20 in Dallas.
What Cuban said about sports betting and DFS
When asked about the possibility of seeing legal U.S. sports betting, Cuban didn’t mince words:
It’s inevitable. It will take some time for the courts to overcome the grandstanding by a few district attorneys, but once that happens I think we will see a slow but sure availability of gambling across the country.
The bottom line is that it will create needed tax revenue that states will want.
There, he took a not-so-veiled shot at the state attorneys general that have been saying DFS constitutes illegal gambling — like Illinois AG Lisa Madigan and New York AG Eric Schneiderman. And he did so again in the interview, saying “Hopefully, the stupidity and hypocrisy in a few states will be cleared up in the courts shortly.”
Cuban’s interest in DFS, sports betting
Cuban has several ties to sports betting and daily fantasy, and like many has a vested interest in seeing it succeed:
- Cuban was a part of a $7 million funding round in Unikrn in 2015. That’s an eSports betting site that launched early last year, but is only active in some regulated markets outside of the U.S.
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a big proponent of legalized and regulated sports betting, and the league also has a partnership with FanDuel. While Cuban isn’t always in lockstep with the league, it’s clear he agrees on this issue.
- Cuban’s Mavericks have a deal with FanDuel, as well.
Cuban at the FSTA
Cuban has also signed on to give the FSTA’s keynote address in a few weeks. While the content of his speech is unknown, Cuban is almost certain to give his unabashed opinion and a lot of hot takes regarding the current status and future of the DFS industry.
The FSTA conference and Cuban’s keynote come against an uncertain backdrop for the daily fantasy industry in Texas.
Attorney General Ken Paxton has been asked by at least one lawmaker for an opinion on the legality of DFS. At the same time, the DFS industry has been pushing players in the state to contact Paxton, with more than 10,000 emails being sent to his office.
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