Florida Senate Advances New Fantasy Sports Bill, But Is Revived Effort What It Seems?

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FL DFS bill rises from dead

The hopes of establishing the legality of daily fantasy sports in Florida aren’t dead after all.

The latest on Florida DFS

Fantasy sports legalization had been tied to a larger gaming expansion bill in Florida. That bill, however, died earlier this week. That put DFS in a precarious position of no obvious vehicle to move forward.

On Wednesday, an unrelated bill — H 7047 — was suddenly amended in the Senate with two things: language to clarify the legality of paid-entry fantasy sports and the authorization of pull tab machines at veterans’ organizations.

The Senate approved the amended bill 36-0 and sent it back to the House.

The language does not regulate fantasy sports in Florida, which is different than most of the bills passed in the past two years.

Being tied to slots a problem?

The death of the gambling bill had to do with the expansion of gambling in the state. Specifically, Florida Politics reported, “House and Senate negotiators couldn’t see eye to eye on whether to expand slot machines in the state.” The House was not a fan of more slots/gambling.

Earlier reporting had put the Senate and House agreeing on fantasy sports in terms of the larger gaming package.

But the development of sending a bill even with a limited form of gaming expansion raised some eyebrows:

The bill’s chances in the House are unknown. It could try to strike the pull-tab language out and send it back to the Senate. It could also simply vote the bill up or down as it stands.

DFS has been under consideration in the statehouse for a year and a half. Late efforts to legalize DFS in Florida last year didn’t even come up for a vote, so this year’s effort — and a unanimous vote — came out of the blue.

Regardless, the push to give legal clarity to DraftKings, FanDuel and the rest of the fantasy sports industry in a key state still has some legs.