Daily Fantasy Sports Weekly Wrap: No Go For Illinois Bill; New York Progress

Posted on May 30, 2016

Here’s a quick look back at what happened this past week, and what to watch for in the coming week in the world of the daily fantasy sports industry:

What happened this week in DFS

Illinois bill is dead, for now: A last-minute effort to pass DFS regulation in Illinois failed on Sunday — or, more accurately, the bill was shelved because it didn’t have enough support. Illinois Rep. Michael Zalewski had been working on the issue for more than a year, but the result was no new law.

What does that mean for DFS in the state? For now, it means the status quo; DraftKings and FanDuel both still operate in Illinois. Eyes turn back to the court battle between those two operators and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The bill could be called if a summer session is convened, or during a veto session later. But both of those prospects bring with them their own set of problems. More from Danny Ecker at Crain’s Chicago Business on that topic.

One DFS fan will be running for president: Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson won the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination on Sunday during the party’s convention in Orlando, Fla.

What does that have to do with DFS? Johnson released a statement last year in the wake of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s cease-and-desist orders against DraftKings and FanDuel. True to his Libertarian ideals, he said “When tens of millions of Americans want to engage in a fun, harmless activity, why is it any of the government’s business?”

We’re sure DFS isn’t exactly going to be a pillar of his presidential campaign, but he at might have a few voters coming from the fantasy sports world come November.

What to watch for in DFS

Things are happening in New York: With things ramping down in Illinois, all eyes turn to another big battleground state for DFS: New York. Assemblymember Gary Pretlow’s new regulatory bill dropped last week, an effort he believes will have “smooth sailing.”

Like Illinois, the DFS industry is depending on a legislative solution to head off heading back to court. The legislature will adjourn on June 16.

Look for committee hearings and votes this week in both the Assembly and the Senate before they reach the floor of both chambers.

Not many states left: The legislative calendar is becoming short in a lot of states, to the point only a handful are possibilities for action on DFS legislation.

The only states that seem like real possibilities outside of New York are Pennsylvania and California. The former doesn’t even have an active bill yet, while the latter has seen no activity since the Assembly passed a bill in January.

The industry is also waiting on bills to be possibly signed into law in both Colorado and Missouri.

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.

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