Should Fantasy Sports Be Considered Games of Skill?

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Michael MarksSeptember 9, 2016 1:56 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The National Football League regular season kicked off last night – and this time last year, commercials for daily fantasy sports site like Draft Kings and Fan Duel were everywhere. But not so much this year.

That’s because Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton said that those sites are basically illegal games of chance. But state Rep. Richard Pena Raymond disagrees. The Laredo Democrat plays fantasy football. He said he’ll promote legislation to classify fantasy sports as games of skill, which are legal.

“It’s just a clarification on the law, I don’t think we need a constitutional amendment,” Raymond said. “So this would simply clarify in the law that it is a game of skill, not a game of chance. Anybody who knows about football, you put Tom Brady on one side up against Blake Bortles of Jacksonville on the other side, and it’s not a game of chance, it’s a game of skill.”

Scott Dunaway, a spokesperson for Draft Kings and Fan Duel, said in a statement that the companies were quote “pleasantly surprised” by Raymond’s position.

The AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas is over $150 million in debt, and asked the city of Dallas for $15 million of the next 10 years. But as the proposal clears budgetary hurdles, it’s angered artists and small arts groups in the city. They believe that money should be directed to the rest of the Dallas arts community. Hady Mawajdeh of KERA’s Art&Seek spoke with Jeff Hurst, co-founder of Teatro Dallas.

“Only one percent of the 21-million dollar OCA budget goes towards Latino artists and organizations – and only three percent toward African-American groups,” Hurst said. “That doesn’t just recognize a lack of support for diversity, but a lack of support for the art and the artists themselves.”

Officials from the center say they understand the small groups’ arguments, but that getting out of debt is necessary. They said they’ll offer support to the broader arts community with free marketing and ticketing services.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make his “Dancing With the Stars” debut on September 12. But once he Perry hits the floor, the smart money is apparently on literally any other contestant.

Gambling tip site Sports Betting Dime placed Perry’s odds to win the competition at 50 to 1. That’s dead last among the 13 competitors.

Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez is the favorite. And Perry’s fellow Texan Vanilla Ice projects to be the third-safest bet with 9 to 1 odds.