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Fantasy sports companies fold as legislative battle resumes

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The daily fantasy sports industry sharply contracted since the online games offered by companies like FanDuel and DraftKings sparked court and legislative battles across the United States last year. More than two-thirds of companies that existed this time last year have shuttered, changed focus or joined with competitors, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the industry’s lobbying arm. Among the most prominent examples is the proposed merger between the industry’s two largest companies — Boston’s DraftKings and New York’s…

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Fantasy sports bill filed again in Legislature

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A bill to exempt fantasy sports play from state gambling regulation has again been filed in the Florida Legislature. State Rep. Jason Brodeur, a Sanford Republican, filed a measure (HB 149) on Wednesday. The bill would clarify that fantasy contests “reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants” and are not games of chance – and thus potentially illegal gambling. The legislation specifically includes games based on “athletes in the case of sports events.” It doesn’t yet have a…

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Ballard Partners will continue repping daily fantasy sports sites

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Ballard Partners will continue its representation of daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies into 2017, according to lobbying registration records reviewed Monday. Brian Ballard and the lobbyists who work for him, including former state Rep. Chris Dorworth, have begun registering their representation for the 2017 Legislative Session, some effective as early as this week. Chief among those interests are DraftKings and FanDuel, the DFS giants who announced their merger in November. It still requires federal approval. In the online games, players pick…

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Daily fantasy sports sites agree to stop taking bets in New York

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The nation’s two largest daily fantasy sports websites have agreed to stop taking bets in New York, potentially through most of the professional baseball season, as lawmakers consider legalizing the popular online contests, the state attorney general announced Monday. The deal struck between Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, essentially takes the dispute out of the courts and into the capitol, where lawmakers indicate legislation regulating the industry could pass by mid-May. Schneiderman’s claims against the…

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No contest: Push to legalize fantasy sports in Florida fails

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Florida legislators are rejecting, for now, a push to make fantasy sports legal in the state. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Destin Republican, made a last ditch effort on Friday to keep a fantasy sports bill alive in the final days of the 2016 session. But he dropped the effort after getting resistance from some other Republicans. Legislators this year proposed bills that would have covered both season-long fantasy leagues, as well as daily fantasy leagues. Florida’s attorney general back in…

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Fantasy sports bill fumbles in Florida House

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A legislative leader ultimately backed down Friday on his attempt to tack language legalizing fantasy sports play in Florida on a regulatory-related bill. State Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Fort Walton Beach Republican who chairs the Finance and Tax Committee, tried to amend a House bill (HB 1187) making changes to the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which also regulates gambling. Gaetz’s amendment mirrored a Senate measure backed by President-designate Joe Negron that declares fantasy sports play a “game of…

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Fantasy sports companies defend embattled industry

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Daily fantasy sports companies say their industry remains viable despite a rocky start to 2016. The industry’s top companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, are on the defensive after taking hits to their businesses in recent weeks as scrutiny by state policymakers across the country continues to intensify. This week, it was disclosed that ESPN and DraftKings ended an exclusive advertising deal and FanDuel confirmed Wednesday it had laid off 55 workers in its Orlando, Florida, office. ESPN and DraftKings declined to…

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