Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes that fantasy sports is a game of skill and an attorney general from his hometown is wrong to call it illegal gambling.
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) convention was to be held in Las Vegas, but after Nevada required fantasy sports operators to secure a gambling license to operate, the organizers decided to move to a friendlier state, Texas, which has approximately 4 million daily fantasy sports players.
The two-day event started on Tuesday, the same day that Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton released an opinion saying daily fantasy sports rely too heavily on chance to be considered games of skill, thus qualifying the games as a form of betting under Texas state law.
Cuban, who has invested in two fantasy sports startups, booed Paxton and tweeted: “What a disappointment re DFS. You certainly don’t represent the views of Texans.”
.@KenPaxtonTX what a disappointment re DFS You certainly don’t represent the views of Texans.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 19, 2016
Cuban’s bashing didn’t end there. Addressing the conference’s 400 attendees, he said Paxton’s opinion regarding daily fantasy sports is nonbinding but still “kind of disappointing.”
“Here in Texas it’s kind of disappointing what happened, but at least it was only an opinion and from what I’ve been told there aren’t any plans initially to file any suits. It’s just a way of coming out and kind of hedging,” said Cuban. “So I’ll give our guy Ken Paxton some credit, he played politics without playing politics and he deserves some credit. Look, this is a guy who personally went through some security regulations himself, so he knows what it’s like to be a target.”
He also suggested that daily fantasy sports required more skill than picking stocks.
“Why is the stock market acting like it is? Nobody knows,” he said. “Where should you invest your money in the stock market? I have talked to some of the smartest people and nobody knows. That sounds like a game of chance to me.”
Cuban, who admitted that he sucks at fantasy sports and that’s how he knew that it’s a game of skill, pointed out that the industry is in a great position and that’s why he invested.
“You’re in a great position. That’s why I’ve invested in the industry. That’s why I think the (future of the) industry is bright. I think gambling as a whole will be made legal. Hypocrisy tends to figure itself out,” said Cuban.