FLORIDA SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES DAILY FANTASY SPORTS BILL
Regulated Industries Committee progresses bill S.8 to the Appropriations Committee; new DFS bill filed.
Florida Senator Bill Galvano's Senate Bill S.8, which was recently progressed through the Senate Regulated Industries Committee and is now with the Senate Appropriations Committee, could soon have company in the form of a new proposal submitted by fellow state Senator Dana Young.
Recentpoker.com readers may recall that Galvano's bill proposes quite wide expansion of gambling facilities, especially slots, but includes provisions to legalize daily fantasy sports.
Senator Young's new SB592 proposal concentrates on the daily fantasy sports vertical and follows other states in seeking to class DFS as a game of skill and therefore free from conventional gambling regulation.
The Senator's argument is that more than 3 million Florida residents are active DFS players who deserve the clarity and protection of laws which acknowledge DFS as a game of skill with state oversight.
The bill proposes raising cash for the state through a stiff $500,000 registration fee with a $100,000 annual renewal charge.
Florida senators are now spoilt for choice when it comes to DFS-related bills – earlier this (January) month Republican Party Representative Jason Brodeur filed House Bill HB149, seeking to clarify that fantasy contests “reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants” and are not games of chance – and thus potentially illegal gambling.
HB149 specifically exempts “fantasy contests” from regulation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees gambling in the state.
The latest DFS bills follow similar attempts last year, when state Sen. Joe Negron and state Rep. Matt Gaetz unsuccessfully tried to move similar bills.
Their efforts were swamped in a late session meltdown over a renewed blackjack agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and connected bills that would have expanded gambling in the state.