As talks with regulators continue...

FanDuel agrees to halt payments in Texas

Lesley EcclesFantasy sports games firm FanDuel has agreed to stop taking payments for games in Texas, two months after the state’s top prosecutor said such online operations are illegal gambling.

FanDuel’s free games will continue to be available in Texas, but entry fees on paid contests will stop on 2 May. The prosecutor has agreed in exchange not to pursue legal action against the Edinburgh and New York based company.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement: “I commend FanDuel for responsibly and pro-actively working with us to reach this settlement.”

The state is among a number which have challenged the legality of online sports games.

FanDuel and its main rival DraftKings are now working state-by-state with regulators that will provide appropriate protection for consumers an avoid long and costly action through the courts.

Fantasy sports is a multi-billion dollar industry but has drawn criticism from those alleging it breaches the US’s strict rules on online gambling.

Texas is a major market for daily fantasy companies, which charge customers to take part in mostly single-day games in which they draft a roster of players whose performance on the field earns points.

In the daily games, participants pay to compete for cash prizes against others in online leagues based on imaginary teams assembled from rosters of real players, which accumulate points based on how those players perform in actual games.

The games are illegal in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and Washington. The attorneys general of New York and Illinois have also declared the games illegal, but those rulings are being challenged in state courts.

Nevada has said fantasy sports companies cannot operate in the state unless they receive gaming licences.

  • Lesley Eccles (pictured), co-founder of FanDuel, will be addressing the Investing Women conference in Edinburgh on Monday.

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