The Internet Association — a big lobbying group that represents FanDuel as well as many of the largest online-based companies — may not be joining the fray regarding daily fantasy sports at the state level, according to Politico.
The IA, FanDuel and state lobbying
That news came via Politico’s “Morning Tech” tipsheet. The report noted that the Internet Association, which includes Google, Facebook and Amazon among its many members, was looking to launch a “new state-based effort” for lobbying.
The upshot for daily fantasy sports? FanDuel, which joined the IA earlier this year, would seemingly benefit from lobbying at the state level, as more and more states consider legislation and possible regulation.
However, Dusty Brighton, hired as the IA’s vice president of state government affairs, according to Politico, put the brakes on that possibility:
While the states are leading the charge by proposing new restrictions across the country, IA said it’s not ready to jump in on the issue. “We’ll have to see,” Brighton said, when asked during an interview if IA plans to engage on the matter, adding: “The issues we’re focusing on are the ones that are more Internet related.”
FanDuel’s main concerns at the state level, right now, don’t really intersect with the rest of the IA’s members; and, DraftKings is not a member, according to the IA’s member list. So, it’s not terribly shocking that the IA is not making a giant push specifically for FanDuel on the issues of gambling and potential regulation.
That doesn’t mean that lobbying efforts aren’t going on
Despite that news, the Internet Association is far from the only means FanDuel and the DFS industry have to lobbying at the state level.
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has lobbied at the state level throughout the year as bills have come up. And the FSTA — representing the industry — as well as FanDuel and DraftKings themselves have retained lobbyists at both the federal level and in key states (and these are just the ones we know about):
- FanDuel has a lobbyist on Capitol Hill.
- A number of lobbyists have been retained in Florida and contributions made to key legislators, according to the Miami Herald. That comes during a reported federal grand jury investigation based in the state and questions over state law in regards to DFS.
- There’s been a report of increased efforts in Illinois, where a new, industry-friendly bill was introduced last week:
FanDuel and DraftKings jointly hired an additional lobbying firm for Illinois yesterday.
— Steve Brubaker (@SteveBrubaker) November 3, 2015
And those clearly aren’t the only places where lobbyists are on the ground for DFS. The bottom line: the IA’s reluctance to get involved is not the end of the world for FanDuel and the industry.