The nationwide debate over daily fantasy sports has focused on Texas for the last few days. Last Friday, one of the two major fantasy websites FanDuel agreed to pull out of Texas. The other site, DraftKings sued in Dallas County to have fantasy sports betting declared legal.
Fifty-six million people play fantasy-sports in the United States, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
DraftKings and FanDuel took in a combined $3 billion last year.
So the announcement that FanDuel will leave Texas May 1 leaves a big hole in the business. The state accounted for $179 million in fantasy entrees last year, according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
“It’s big, third largest state according to DraftKings for entry fee,” ESPN reporter David Purdum said. “That shows kind of the brevity of the situation for FanDuel to actually to say ok, we’ll pull out, knowing they’re going to lose a lot of their entries.”
Purdum was covering a different fantasy sports hearing in Las Vegas.
He points out that professional leagues and owners are involved too. Last year, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones bought a piece of DraftKings.
“The Rangers have a deal with DraftKings, Stars are in there, Cowboys,” Purdum said. “Of course, Mark Cuban and boy, there’s a huge FanDuel banner right there on the court of the American Airlines Center. So everybody’s involved in this, everybody is watching really closely.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s action made Texas the fifth state to issue an opinion against the daily fantasy sports companies.
FanDuel and Draftkings say they’ll make their cases when the Texas Legislature meets in 2017.