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Florida Considering Regulation of Fantasy Football Betting Amid Nationwide Litigation

Many have heard of online fantasy football sites such as FanDuel and Draft Kings. However, the litigation and allegations surrounding these popular companies may not be as well-known – or as well-received, considering the fact both sites garner over $1 million in net revenue per week.

As a Ft. Lauderdale litigation law firm, we are dedicated to keeping up with the issues impacting both Florida’s citizens and America as a whole. In response to the nationwide fantasy football “epidemic” – as some would call it – the state of Florida is considering a new bill to help regulate the various issues raised in the multitude of lawsuits pending against these sites.

However, opponents of gambling regulation point to the uniqueness of the fantasy football concept – including its inherent skill component. Overall, the litigation surrounding online sports betting will likely only increase as states continue to combat this seemingly lucrative betting option, which has proven attractive to novice and expert sports gamblers alike.

Fantasy Football: What’s All the Fuss About?

Powerhouse gaming websites like FanDuel and DraftKings allow users to place weekly bets on a fantasy football team convened by the user based on the user’s own preferences and hunches about the upcoming week. A fantasy sports team is one in which various players are chosen from different teams and their performance statistics are compiled at the end of play week. If players do well, they are assigned a certain number of points, which results in a total fantasy score for that week.

Unlike traditional fantasy football formats in which teams must commit to certain selected players for the entire season, FanDuel and DraftKings provide an alternative requiring no season-long commitment. However, as is the issue raised by several states, these sites are operating largely unregulated – and bringing in mega-profits to boot. As a result, New York and Nevada have issued injunctions against online fantasy football as a whole – while Florida and other ponder what the next step should be.

Florida Considering Legislation

In late 2015, the Florida legislature began to consider what is known as HB 707, which would essentially shield the fantasy football industry from Florida’s traditional gambling regulations. In essence, the bill would shield “daily fantasy sports” (DFS) operators from the confines of regulated gambling, provided the following caveats are met:

  • No DFS employee or family member is permitted to play for cash prizes
  • Sites must verify that all players are 18 years of age
  • Player funds must be segregated from operational funds
  • Civil penalties will be in place for any DFS website that violates the law
  • DFS sites must submit to annual auditing

After its first round in committee, the bill was amended to include a $500,000 licensing fee and a $100,000 annual renewal fee – a typical assessment against a traditional casino. Currently, the bill is awaiting passage by the Florida House and was recently approved by a House sub-committee earlier this month.

Contact Attorney Michael L. Feinstein, P.A. Today!

If you have a matter you believe may need the services of an experienced Ft. Lauderdale litigation attorney, please do not hesitate to contact Michael L. Feinstein today: (954) 767-9662.