Ken Paxton: Don’t tread on me

Thanks to Attorney General Ken Paxton, sites like FanDuel are now considered illegal in Texas. | Courtesy of FanDuel/WikiMedia Commons

As I opened my FanDuel app to peruse the contests in preparation for Thursday night’s football game, I was shocked when it asked me to share my location because it was no longer allowed in some states.

Although I am skeptical when an app asks me to share my location, the only way to bypass the screen and move on to the next was to give it the go ahead. I did so begrudgingly, and learned that Texas had banned daily fantasy sports after Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote an opinion on the matter, claiming that it was straight-up gambling.

In his opinion, Paxton said that any event in Texas is illegal “if you bet on the performance of a participant in a sporting event and the house takes a cut.”

If that’s the case, how is horse racing legal in Texas? That is almost entirely luck since you’re betting on a performance, and the house takes a cut.

In a state that is run by Republicans who claim to be all about limited government, the fact that they would invade my freedom to participate in something that had nothing to do with said government, pisses me off. Sure, Paxton, you can call it gambling, but as Sean Pendergast pointed out in an article in the Houston Press, DFS operates much like the stock market in the fact that you need skill, knowledge and yes, a little luck to make money.

Now, I know that the odds of winning a large pot are almost unimaginable, but that won’t stop me from putting in $10 per week to try my hand.

The first year I played, I managed to win about $2,800 throughout the season after only depositing $50 initially. Last season, I didn’t win any money but managed to break even.

In addition to the potential of winning money on the app, it makes the games that are usually unbearable to watch, like Monday night’s San Francisco vs. Los Angeles, more exciting. The thought of watching Blaine Gabbert and Case Keenum run around for three hours while their offense collapses is boring. When money is on the line though, I’ll watch the game intently and even root for the players that I have selected.

I found out that Draftkings is available in Texas, while they await a lawsuit, but it’s just not the same. The format is different, and I am more familiar with FanDuel.

So, if I want to attempt to make money by playing a game, then stay out of it Paxton. Oh, the hypocrisy that comes with you trying to tell me what to do with my money, while the SEC has charged you with fraud.