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The Alabama legislature adjourned its session on Friday night. That adjournment did not come with a vote in the state Senate on a bill (H 354) that would have legalized and regulated paid-entry fantasy in the state.
There had been action on the bill on Wednesday — including amendments — but the bill never came up for a vote.
Given the contentious nature of debate in the House and a razor-thin margin on a vote in that chamber, the inaction in the Senate isn’t that shocking. (The House also provided this comical moment where a state representative threatened to out lawmakers who bet on college football games.)
An attempt to legalize DFS in Alabama in 2016 also came up short.
While the legislature appears likely to reconvene for a special session this year, that is likely only to deal with the singular issue of the state’s prisons.
Much of the DFS industry had pulled out of the state just over a year ago. That came after then Attorney General Luther Strange told DraftKings and FanDuel to cease and desist in the state. He opined that DFS is illegal gambling under state law.
Alabama isn’t that big of a state — with just under 5 million people. But the industry is in the business of increasing its pool of prospective users in any way it can.
It’s clear at this point that momentum from 2016 — when eight states passed laws expressly legalizing DFS — hasn’t exactly carried over to this year.
Meanwhile, things have gone poorly in more high-profile states like Texas and Florida, as bills failed to reach the finish line. There has been little movement for a DFS bill in the biggest state with a negative legal climate — Illinois — but there is still hope the legislature will act this month before adjourning.
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