Daily Fantasy Sports Bill in Florida’s Future

Written by: Michaella Radich

Two Florida state lawmakers—Republican state Senator Joe Negron and Representative Matt Gaetz—will be introducing daily fantasy sports legislation with the intention of clarifying the industry’s legal status while providing consumer protections. Negron and Gaetz both released statements on the importance of consumer protection in the DFS industry. There have been no reports that DFS users in Florida are currently in any danger of criminal charges.

Bill Basics
The bill draft resembles a bill recently introduced in Illinois, considered to be relatively friendly to the DFS industry. If passed, the bill would operate on an interstate basis.

  • The bill borrows language from the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act to determine qualifying games.
  • The license fee is $500,000 with a $100,000 renewal fee.
  • “Any person or entity that offers fantasy games for a cash prize to more than 750 members of the public” would require a license.
  • Employees and relatives in household would be blocked from playing games with prizes over $5.
  • Players and officials are blocked from participating in any fantasy game that would depend on their individual, real-world performances.
  • Players’ funds must be separated from operational funds.
  • Each violation of the chapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

DFS Climate in Florida
Florida is a DFS hotspot. The Miami Herald reports that in the last month, lobbying efforts have increased, with 10 lobbyists working in the state of Florida for Fanduel and Draftkings. The bill is being introduced at a time when key lawmakers are disinterested in the DFS industry. Senator Rob Bradley, chairman of the Regulated Industried Committee, feels the bill is unlikely to pass in the near future. Attorney General Pam Bondi is “taking a hands off approach,” allowing the U.S. Attorney’s Office to deal with DFS legislation. [Click Here]

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