Florida Might Finally Have A Fantasy Sports Solution; PA Advances Sports Betting Bill

Written By Steve Ruddock on April 29, 2017 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
Florida fantasy sports 2017

Florida — a important and legally gray state for daily fantasy sports — appears to have a path toward passing a bill this session.

Meanwhile, the growing Nevada sports betting industry continues to show other states what they are missing. And Pennsylvania’s House advanced a bill that would legalize sports betting.

DFS legislation update

Florida’s legislature has been working on giving the DFS industry legal clarity dating back to 2015. Those efforts have stalled — until this year, perhaps.

More from the Associated Press:

House and Senate Republicans negotiating a comprehensive gambling bill that focuses primarily on casino gambling are including in the legislation proposals regarding fantasy sports.

Senate negotiators on Thursday offered their support for a House bill that says betting on fantasy contests would be allowed as long as the sponsor of the contest is not a participant.

Whether DFS makes the final cut could depend on if the Seminole Tribe agrees to DFS’ inclusion in the gaming package. But right now, things are looking up for DFS. Time is short; the legislature is supposed to adjourn May 5.

Beyond the developments in Florida, it was a relatively slow week for DFS legislation:

  • Iowa’s legislature adjourned for the session without passing a DFS bill.
  • The tax rate for online gambling in Pennsylvania continues to be an issue that could affect DFS. Meanwhile, a standalone DFS bill passed out of a House committee.
  • After the Alabama House passed a bill by a narrow margin, all has been quiet in the Senate, so far.

The DFS bill tally

The number of states that have introduced legislation seeking to legalize DFS in 2017 tallies 24, while the number of states with active legislation stands at 20:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Hawaii
  7. Illinois
  8. Iowa
  9. Kentucky
  10. Maine
  11. Minnesota
  12. Montana
  13. Nebraska
  14. New Jersey
  15. New Hampshire
  16. North Carolina
  17. Ohio
  18. Oregon
  19. Pennsylvania
  20. Rhode Island
  21. Texas
  22. Vermont
  23. Washington
  24. Maine

Legal Sports Report’s legislative tracker has up-to-the-minute updates on all DFS legislation.

Sports betting legalization update

A Pennsylvania House committee unanimously approved a sports betting bill this week. It’s not clear if this bill has a chance to advance on its own, or if it might get swept up in a larger gaming package in the legislature.

The bill would also not challenge current law, like New Jersey is attempting to do; it would simply legalize sports betting if federal law were to allow it. (PASPA currently bans sports betting outside of Nevada.)

Eight states are fighting for a repeal of PASPA, or pre-committing to legalizing sports betting if federal sports betting laws were to change:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Michigan
  4. New Jersey
  5. New York
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. South Carolina
  8. West Virginia

Nevada sports betting keeps growing

Nevada sportsbooks saw $475 million in handle flow through their doors in March, largely due to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Other states with casinos and horse tracks surely salivate at the possibility of offering sports wagering down the road when they see the growth Nevada has experienced. Handle in March has grown $100 million in three years.

Image credit: KMH Photo Video / Shutterstock.com

Steve Ruddock Avatar
Written by
Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the gambling industry, having been a longtime contributor to numerous publications both online and off centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. Steve is based in Massachusetts.

View all posts by Steve Ruddock
Privacy Policy