Bill Text: TX HB1544 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to fantasy sports contests.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-1)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2019-04-04 - Failed to receive affirmative vote in comm. [HB1544 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB1544-Introduced.html
  86R7306 ADM-D
 
  By: Raymond H.B. No. 1544
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to fantasy sports contests.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle B, Title 13, Occupations Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 2053 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 2053. FANTASY SPORTS CONTESTS
         Sec. 2053.001.  DEFINITIONS.  In this chapter:
               (1)  "Fantasy sports contest" means a competition in
  which:
                     (A)  a participant pays money or other
  consideration for the opportunity to assemble a fictional team
  composed of professional or amateur sports athletes selected by the
  participant to compete against other fictional teams of sports
  athletes assembled by other competition participants;
                     (B)  the outcome of the competition reflects the
  relative knowledge and skill of the participants and is based on the
  actual statistical performance of the selected athletes in sports
  competitions, or in a season or series of sports competitions;
                     (C)  a prize is awarded to the competition winner;
                     (D)  the outcome of the competition or the
  redemption of the winnings is not displayed or represented in a
  manner that mimics a slot machine or other form of casino gaming,
  including a banked card game, poker, craps, roulette, keno, lotto,
  and bingo; and
                     (E)  the competition is not presented using any
  depiction of a casino gaming graphic, theme, or title, including
  any depiction of a slot machine-style symbol, a banked card game,
  poker, craps, roulette, keno, lotto, and bingo.
               (2)  "Fantasy sports operator" means a person,
  including an entity or a division of an entity, that offers fantasy
  sports contests to the public.
               (3)  "Sports association" means a group of professional
  or amateur teams or athletes that compete against one another in a
  specific sport.
         Sec. 2053.002.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. (a) The legislature
  finds that a participant in a fantasy sports contest is an actual
  contestant in a bona fide competition to determine the skill of the
  participant in assembling a fictional team of sports athletes.
         (b)  An individual who pays money or other consideration to
  participate in a fantasy sports contest is not placing a bet for
  purposes of the application of an offense under Chapter 47, Penal
  Code.
         Sec. 2053.003.  PARTICIPATION IN FANTASY SPORTS CONTEST. An
  individual may pay money or other consideration to participate in a
  fantasy sports contest.
         Sec. 2053.004.  OPERATION OF FANTASY SPORTS CONTEST. (a) A
  person may offer fantasy sports contests as a fantasy sports
  operator in this state in accordance with this chapter and any
  applicable federal law and may participate in the earnings of a
  business that offers fantasy sports contests.
         (b)  A fantasy sports operator may not:
               (1)  award a prize based:
                     (A)  on the score, the point spread, or any
  performance of a single professional or amateur sports team or any
  combination of professional or amateur sports teams;
                     (B)  solely on any single performance of an
  individual athlete in a single professional or amateur sports
  competition or other event; or
                     (C)  on a fantasy sports contest based on a live
  pari-mutuel racing performance regulated under Subtitle A-1 (Texas
  Racing Act);
               (2)  offer a fantasy sports contest to the public
  without disclosing before the contest all prizes offered to winning
  participants of the contest; or
               (3)  offer a fantasy sports contest based on the
  performance of athletes in a youth, high school, or collegiate
  sports competition or athletic event.
         Sec. 2053.005.  CONSUMER PROTECTION. A fantasy sports
  operator shall implement commercially reasonable procedures for
  fantasy sports contests that:
               (1)  prevent an employee or agent of the operator, and
  any relative living in the same household as the employee or agent,
  from competing in a fantasy sports contest offered by the operator
  to the public in which a cash prize is awarded;
               (2)  prevent an employee or agent of the operator from
  sharing with third parties before the information is made publicly
  available information relevant to a fantasy sports contest that is
  obtained by the employee or agent because of the person's
  employment or agency and that could affect fantasy sports contest
  play;
               (3)  verify that fantasy sports contest participants
  are 18 years of age or older;
               (4)  restrict an individual who is a player, a game
  official, or another participant in a professional or amateur
  sports competition from participating in a fantasy sports contest
  that is determined, wholly or partly, on the performance of:
                     (A)  that individual, the individual's
  professional or amateur team, or the accumulated statistical
  results of the sport or competition in which the individual is a
  player, game official, or other participant; or
                     (B)  another individual or team competing in the
  same sports association in which the individual participates; and
               (5)  segregate contest participants' funds from the
  operator's funds or maintain a reserve in the form of cash, cash
  equivalents, an irrevocable letter of credit, a bond, payment
  processor reserves, payment processor receivables, or any
  combination of those forms, in an amount equal to or greater than
  the total amount of funds in all contest participants' accounts,
  for the benefit and protection of the funds held in those accounts.
         Sec. 2053.006.  INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. (a) The attorney
  general may institute an action for injunctive relief to restrain a
  violation by a person who appears to be in violation of or
  threatening to violate this chapter.
         (b)  An action filed under this section by the attorney
  general must be filed in a district court in Travis County or the
  county in which the violation occurred.
         (c)  The attorney general may recover reasonable expenses
  incurred in obtaining injunctive relief under this section,
  including court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, investigative
  costs, witness fees, and deposition expenses.
         (d)  In an injunction issued under this section, a court may
  include reasonable requirements to prevent further violations of
  this chapter.
         SECTION 2.  Section 47.02(c), Penal Code, as effective April
  1, 2019, is amended to read as follows:
         (c)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
  the actor reasonably believed that the conduct:
               (1)  was permitted under Chapter 2001, Occupations
  Code;
               (2)  was permitted under Chapter 2002, Occupations
  Code;
               (3)  was permitted under Chapter 2004, Occupations
  Code;
               (4)  was permitted under Chapter 2053, Occupations
  Code;
               (5)  consisted entirely of participation in the state
  lottery authorized by the State Lottery Act (Chapter 466,
  Government Code);
               (6) [(5)]  was permitted under Subtitle A-1, Title 13,
  Occupations Code (Texas Racing Act); or
               (7) [(6)]  consisted entirely of participation in a
  drawing for the opportunity to participate in a hunting, fishing,
  or other recreational event conducted by the Parks and Wildlife
  Department.
         SECTION 3.  Section 47.09(a), Penal Code, as effective April
  1, 2019, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter that
  the conduct:
               (1)  was authorized under:
                     (A)  Chapter 2001, Occupations Code;
                     (B)  Chapter 2002, Occupations Code;
                     (C)  Chapter 2004, Occupations Code;
                     (D)  Chapter 2053, Occupations Code;
                     (E)  Subtitle A-1, Title 13, Occupations Code
  (Texas Racing Act); or
                     (F) [(E)]  Chapter 280, Finance Code;
               (2)  consisted entirely of participation in the state
  lottery authorized by Chapter 466, Government Code; or
               (3)  was a necessary incident to the operation of the
  state lottery and was directly or indirectly authorized by:
                     (A)  Chapter 466, Government Code;
                     (B)  the lottery division of the Texas Lottery
  Commission;
                     (C)  the Texas Lottery Commission; or
                     (D)  the director of the lottery division of the
  Texas Lottery Commission.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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