Editorials

We bet against fantasy football’s skill defense

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Len Don Diego, marketing manager for content at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works at his station at the company’s offices in Boston in 2015.
Len Don Diego, marketing manager for content at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works at his station at the company’s offices in Boston in 2015. AP file photo

Considering fantasy sports to be anything but gambling is a fantastical notion.

Rep. Richard Pena Raymond, D-Laredo, filed House Bill 1457 to clarify the definition of fantasy sports. He argues it involves skill and should be legal.

Raymond told the Texas Tribune that fantasy sports “is a lot more like chess than the roulette wheel.”

Saying that putting together a fictional team of sports players in the hopes of winning a contest off of players’ stats is in the same league as chess is a stretch.

If the bill passes, it would make fantasy sports leagues, like DraftKings and FanDuel, legal in Texas.

Last year, Attorney General Ken Paxton declared fantasy sports leagues a game of chance — not skill.

“It is beyond reasonable dispute that daily fantasy leagues involve an element of chance regarding how a selected player will perform on game day,” says Paxton’s no-binding legal opinion on the subject. “The participant's skill in selecting a particular player for his team has no impact on the performance of the player or the outcome of the game.”

Paxton says leagues like DraftKings and FanDuel, where participants have to pay to play, are against state gambling laws.

And changing the definition of fantasy sports would open the door for other gambling sites to make the same argument. What’s to say that poker, black jack or sports betting don’t take the same amount of skill?

If other “skilled” gambling games can play by house rules, so should fantasy sports.

  Comments