Daily Fantasy Sports Weekly Wrap: Texas Troubles; Pair Of Bills Near Finish Line

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Texas DFS

Here’s a quick look back at what happened in the daily fantasy sports industry this past week, and what to watch for this coming week:

What happened this week in DFS

On to the governor in Indiana: Indiana joined Virginia as the first states to send fantasy sports regulatory bills to their governors. A week after Virginia did the same, the Indiana legislature approved a bill by a comfortable margin in both houses. The bill gives oversight to the state gaming commission, sets a $50,000 licensing fee, and bars operators from offering amateur contests. Meanwhile, in Virginia, controversy brewed as some season-long fantasy sports operators objected to the bill that its legislature passed. And the same objections are likely to be voiced in Indiana.

FanDuel says goodbye to Texas: The Texas attorney general announced late Friday that it had reached a settlement with DFS giant FanDuel. Under the deal, FanDuel agreed that it would no longer offer its paid games in Texas after May 1. In return, the AG’s office agreed to not pursue legal action against FanDuel over operation of its contests. On Friday night DraftKings filed suit in Texas asking a state court to rule on whether DFS is legal. 

Georgia AG says DFS is gambling: Georgia became the seventh state in which a state attorney general’s office has offered an opinion that DFS constitutes gambling under state law. In it, Deputy Georgia AG Wright Banks Jr. dismisses both the “skill game” and “actual contestant in a game of skill” arguments that DFS operators have used in other states.

DraftKings ditches eSports: DraftKings ended its sponsorship of several eSports organizations, according to the Daily Dot. The question afterwards: Did DraftKings drop the sponsorships because of financial problems?

What to watch for in DFS

CEOs set to speak in Nevada: FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins are scheduled to speak on Monday at a Nevada Gaming Policy Committee meeting on fantasy sports. Though the committee holds no power to create laws or regulate gaming, it could mark the first step in a second look at DFS in Nevada, where DFS currently requires a gaming license. No sites currently operate in Nevada.

Mad dash in Florida: The push for DFS regulation took some twists and turns in Florida this week. Proposed gaming legislation, which contained DFS language, died in the Florida House on Friday. An effort to tack DFS legislation onto another bill also failed, and it appears that the standalone fantasy bills will not move forward. That means for DFS regulations to pass in the current session — which ends this week — legislators would have to find another bill to tack the regulations onto. And that may be a tall order.

States a hotbed of action: Fantasy sports betting bills remain active in nearly half of the 50 states, and action is moving fast. Vermont, Mississippi and West Virginia are among states where bills have passed at least one chamber; it’s possible more states could soon join Indiana and Virginia in getting a bill to a governor’s desk.