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Florida Committee Okays Daily Fantasy Sports Bill. Massachusetts Gets an Earful

For the second time in as many weeks, a US state legislative committee has approved a daily fantasy sports bill.


On Tuesday, the Florida House of Representatives’ Business and Professions Subcommittee approved HB 707 by a vote of 10-3. The bill, which was introduced by Reps. Matt Gaetz and Ritch Workman, will now move to the Regulatory Affairs Committee for further vetting.


Similar to the DFS bill approved last week by a California Assembly committee, the legislators who voted in favor of HB 707 did so with caveats that they expect the bill to undergo further revisions – particularly in the areas of operator background checks and conditions for license revocation – before it comes up for a vote on the House floor.


The original draft of HB 707 lacked the fees proscribed under a Senate DFS bill that was introduced in November, but HB 707 was amended in committee to impose a $500k initial license fee with annual renewal fees of $100k, identical to the Senate’s SB 832.


The only voice stridently against HB 707 came from a Stronach Group lobbyist, who tried to make legislators understand that DFS was gambling and thus a vote for HB 707 was a vote for gambling expansion. The state’s powerful Indian tribes were nowhere to be seen, suggesting they’re saving their ammofor the bill’s later appearances.


MASSACHUSETTS TAKES PUBLIC COMMENTS ON DFS CONSUMER PROTECTION

Earlier in the day, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office held a hearing to solicit public comments on Healey’s proposed DFS consumer protection recommendations.


The hearing wasn’t streamed online, but thanks to Bostinno sports writer Hayden Bird, we know that many of the usual suspects were on hand, including Stop Predatory Gambling’s Les Bernal, who delivered his standard jeremiad against any dollar not explicitly earned via backbreaking physical labor.


DraftKings' attorney Griffin Finan said the Boston-based company took exception with Healey’s plans to (a) restrict DFS play to residents 21 years or older, (b) cap monthly deposits on DFS site sites to $1k, (c) prohibit DFS contests on college sports events and (d) make black/white distinctions between DFS sharks and fish.


Finan’s concerns were echoed by Peter Schoenke, boss of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, of which DraftKings is a board member. Schoenke also argued for a lifting of Healey’s proposed ban on the use of automated scripting tools.


Following the hearing, Healey’s office issued a statement saying it would take all the comments under consideration. The public can still submit comments until Jan. 22, and a revised draft of Healey’s recommendations is expected in the following months.

 

CalvinAyre


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