epublican state Senator Joe Negron and Representative Matt Gaetz will introduce a bill that aims at regulating the sector and determining what operations are deemed illegal.
“Currently, 3 million Floridians participate in fantasy sports contests, from traditional leagues with friends or coworkers, to the newer, daily fantasy sports contests. I do not believe Floridians should be at risk of criminal prosecution for doing nothing more than participating in the fantasy sports contests they enjoy,” said Sen. Negron.
There is, however, instruction from the Attorney General for Florida to clarify its position on fantasy sports. The legislation has been drafted in line with the UIGEA to define qualifying games. It would allow companies to apply for a license that legally entitles them to operate DFS in the state, as well as not ring-fence Florida DFS players from the rest of the world.
Under the bill, which proposes to take effect from July 1, 2016, defines a DFS operator as “a person or entity that offers fantasy games for a cash prize to more than 750 members of the public.” The upfront cost for a license is $500,000 with annual renewal of $100,000 and anyone who operates without a license would be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000.
While the law is being clarified, several operators have pulled out of the state, including StarsDraft and various mid-level operators. 10 lobbyists are currently working for companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings, as well as the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, to guard the legal status of DFS in Florida so operations continue while there is no legislation in place.