In January, the Texas Attorney General provided an opinion that daily fantasy sports were illegal under state law, it seemed only a matter a time before DFS sites started to leave the state. FanDuel announced that they would do just that beginning May 1st.
What You Need to Know as a Texas DFS Player
Mid-tier site FantasyDraft left the state earlier this month. At the time of this writing, the largest DFS site, DraftKings, has not publicly stated whether they will continue offering it’s daily fantasy sports games to players.
Somewhat unusually, FanDuel Texas players are being given a large grace period to either keep playing. Players can continue to play real money contests until May 1st but after this date only free contests and leagues will be available for Texas residents. Players can withdraw their funds at any time.
The Texas legislature will be in session in 2017 and FanDuel hopes that they can work with legislators to pass a fantasy sports bill that protects players. FanDuel is encouraging all players to get involved to make DFS legal for all players by visiting www.FantasySportsForAll.com.
Full FanDuel Texas Statement
FanDuel released the following email statement to its Texas players on Friday:
Dear Texas Fans:
We have some important news to share regarding our contests for users in Texas. As you may know, fantasy sports was founded in Texas more than four decades ago. In 2009, FanDuel was formed at Austin’s SXSW Interactive Festival, paving the way for millions of sports fans to play fantasy in a whole new way. We are proud of the business we’ve built and our ability to innovate fantasy sports and create a new product that fans love.
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. 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.
In the meantime:
Users will still be able to participate in free head to head challenges and leagues after May 1st.
As has always been the case, users in Texas can withdraw their funds at anytime. Users can also play FanDuel when visiting other states in which FanDuel continues to operate paid-contests.
Please follow us at www.FantasySportsForAll.com and let your lawmakers know that you support fantasy sports. We have more than 20+ bills in state legislatures across the country that safeguard fantasy sports and provide consumer protections. It is our intent to work with the Texas legislature to pass a similar bill in 2017, when back in session. Your support will help ensure that all fantasy companies are able to continue to operate in Texas.