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Texas Adopts New York Values on Fantasy Football

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01/20/2016

This week, the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, following the lead of New York and a growing number of state governments, denounced daily fantasy sites as “illegal gambling.”

Though the opinion itself is currently nonbinding, it continues the trend of government officials hysterically attacking sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, which cater to over 51 million customers in North America. Proponents of fantasy sports have aggressively pushed back against the “gambling” narrative, arguing that they are games of skill.  

Of course, it’s difficult to take government’s demonization gambling seriously just a week after Powerball Fever swept the country. Playing the lottery is a worse bet than the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl, with the habitual players largely being “the poor and uneducated.” Lotteries are allowed to operate throughout the country however because they carry the government stamp of approval and generate revenue for the state. Just another example of State Privilege.

This is also why it’s not surprising to see some State governments try to get into the fantasy action, rather than banning it. Florida, for example, has a bill currently on the table that explicitly legalizes daily fantasy sports in exchange for requiring “game operators” to purchase a $500,000 license. Of course the biggest winners in the growing legal attention being paid to fantasy sports are lobbyists, who are being hired in droves by fantasy sports sites to help ensure they can stay in business.  

Just another example of the Regulatory-Industrial Complex at work.

Tho is an assistant editor for the Mises Wire, and can assist with questions from the press.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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