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State legislatures see flurry of daily fantasy sports bills

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The daily fantasy sports debate has spilled into state capitols nationwide, with nearly 30 legislatures including Arizona’s considering proposals to regulate, ban or affirm the games played by millions of Americans. The flurry of recent legislative activity represents a sea change for the industry, which for years was content to operate largely unregulated. “We’ve been operating in this gray area for a long time, and, up until now, it hasn’t really been a problem,” said Peter Schoenke, chairman of the…

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Today on Context Florida: Office of Amusement, drug misuse, outsourcing, Michael Bloomberg and Jeffersonian ideals

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Today on Context Florida: Sen. Joe Negron’s SB 832 declares that “fantasy contests” – meaning endeavors such as DraftKings and FanDuel – “involve the skill of contest participants and do not constitute gambling, gaming or games of chance.” Jac VerSteeg says that Negron would regulate this nongambling via a newly created Office of Amusement. It’s not “gambling,” it’s an “amusement.” Which is amusing, VerSteeg says, given that Florida’s most established amusements are the amusement parks in Orlando and Tampa. They have bitterly…

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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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Daily fantasy sports losing major payment processor

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An Ohio company that processes payments for daily fantasy sports sites says it will no longer handle their payments and will pull away from the $2 billion industry in February, according to a newspaper report. FanDuel, DraftKings and other daily fantasy sports sites have been under assault in recent months as attorneys general in several states find the games illegal. Losing a payment processor would be the latest blow to the businesses because they do not handle players’ deposits and…

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New fantasy sports bill would create “Office of Amusement”

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State Sen. Joe Negron has filed a new version of his bill to legalize and regulate fantasy sports play in Florida, including a provision to create a new “Office of Amusements.” Negron, a Stuart Republican and Senate President-designate, filed the new “Fantasy Contest Amusement Act” (SB 832) on Tuesday. It grew from four to 12 pages. It’s slated to first be heard in the Senate by the Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday. Its House companion (HB 707) will also be heard…

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5 questions for Fantasy Sports Trade Association after DFS bill first committee stop

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One of the hottest issues facing lawmakers in the 2016 Legislative Session is the regulation of the daily fantasy sports industry. Moving toward that goal is HB 707: Fantasy Contests, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Gaetz, has recently move out the Business & Professions Subcommittee, its first stop in the Florida House. What the bill seeks to do is create a series of consumer protections and oversight for DFS operators. Highlights of the proposal include: fantasy sports operator employees and…

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Scott Plakon: Fantasy sports play legal “under current law”

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One of the Legislature’s most stalwart opponents to gambling and its expansion in the Sunshine State nonetheless voted for a House bill that would explicitly legalize fantasy sports play in Florida. State Rep. Scott Plakon, a Longwood Republican, sits on the House Business and Professions Subcommittee that OK’d the bill (HB 707) by a 10-3 vote earlier this week. Does that mean Plakon, who led the drive to shut down Internet gambling cafes in 2013, thinks online fantasy sports is not gambling? He…

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