Wednesday, January 27, 2016 : MORE PROGRESS FOR DAILY FANTASY SPORTS IN CALIFORNIA (Update)
Assembly Committee on Appropriations unanimously votes DFS regulatory bill forward.
There was encouraging news from California for the daily fantasy sports community this week when the state Assembly Committee on Appropriations voted unanimously to progress AB1437, a measure proposing that operators must take out licensing and pay regulatory fees and taxes in the state in order to offer their products.
The bill enjoyed similar success in the Assembly Government Organisation Committee earlier this month, with only Assemblyman Marc Levine voting against it
Assemblyman Levine's opposition appears to have caught the attention of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which last week embarked on a personalised online and radio advertising campaign targeting the lawmaker, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
The FSTA radio spot claims: “State legislators are working to protect your rights to play fantasy football – but not Assemblyman Marc Levine. He’s the politician who wants to ban fantasy football in California.”
“If Assemblyman Marc Levine wants to vote no on fantasy football, maybe we should be voting no on Marc Levine,” the ad concludes, sending listeners to a website that urges visitors to “Take Action Now To Protect Fantasy Sports in CA!” by contacting their legislative representatives.
Levine remained unmoved this week after the ads aired, and claimed that DFS operators were "hitting the panic button".
"They realise I'm right and they’re operating illegally in California," he told local reporters. "They want to muscle their way through the Legislature by putting fear in lawmakers who would like to do the right thing. This is a clear message to lawmakers and the attorney general to get out of the way of their train, and they’re going to run over anyone who dares to speak the truth.”
In related news, DraftKings has been investing more lobbying money in California, donating $5,000 this week to a ballot measure campaign committee controlled by Assemblyman Adam Gray, who is driving the bill allowing a regulated fantasy sports industry to operate in California.