Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws


Despite concerns raised by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would make clear fantasy sports contests are not a type of illegal gambling.

Lawmakers in recent years have repeatedly considered such bills after questions were raised in Florida and other states about the legality of online fantasy-sports games.

» RELATED: More Florida government news

In fantasy sports, participants typically select teams of actual athletes, with the teams winning or losing based on the athletes’ statistical performances. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Thursday voted 8-1 to back a measure (SB 374), filed by Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, that would seek to establish that the games are legal and are not subject to state gambling regulation.

“We’ve got 3 million Floridians that love playing these games, and they are looking to us to let them know that they are not engaging in some sort of criminal activity,” Young said.

The Seminole Tribe, however, sent a letter Tuesday to the Legislature expressing concerns about whether the proposal could violate a gambling agreement between the tribe and the state.

The agreement involves the tribe making payments to the state and receiving what is known as “exclusivity” in being able to offer certain types of games at its casinos.

In the letter, the tribe said it thinks the proposed fantasy-sports legislation would violate the exclusivity in the gambling agreement.

Young, however, disputed the tribe’s contentions before the Regulated Industries Committee approved the bill. Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, has filed a similar bill (HB 223), though it has not been heard in House committees.

The bills are filed for the 2018 legislative session, which starts Jan. 9.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Democratic candidates for Florida governor square off at debate
Democratic candidates for Florida governor square off at debate

Three of the four Democrats vying to replace Rick Scott as governor of the third-largest state in the nation get their news first from The New York Times, and only one, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, relies on his hometown paper to find out what’s going on in the world. The insight into who’s reading what was among the lighter moments...
Donald Trump makes a rare concession of defeat in eulogizing Barbara Bush
Donald Trump makes a rare concession of defeat in eulogizing Barbara Bush

President Donald Trump speaking at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post) PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump often compares himself to other presidents — and often finds his predecessors lacking. At a joint...
Florida Gov. Scott, Seminoles reach deal on gambling money
Florida Gov. Scott, Seminoles reach deal on gambling money

As legislative leaders hold behind-the-scenes talks about revamping the gambling industry, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday announced a deal that will lead to the Seminole Tribe continuing to pay more than $300 million a year in casino money to the state. The tribe would continue making the payments, which are rooted in a 2010 gambling agreement, through...
PEACE calls for community IDs, slams commissioners who skipped meeting
PEACE calls for community IDs, slams commissioners who skipped meeting

More than 2,000 people attended a community meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Monday evening, but organizers were miffed that figure wasn’t a little larger. Officials from the social activism group People Engaged in Active Community Efforts called out six of the county’s seven commissioners for skipping the gathering, saying...
Busy Twitter morning at Mar-a-Lago as Trump-Abe summit continues
Busy Twitter morning at Mar-a-Lago as Trump-Abe summit continues

President Donald Trump arriving at Palm Beach International Airport on Monday. (Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post) Before he begins the second day of an international summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump has confirmed a top-secret meeting between CIA Director...
More Stories