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Fantasy wagering pursues legislative action in Florida

Sep 16, 2015 10:34 AM

Fantasy wagering pursues legislative action in FloridaThe fantasy sports industry wants to get the attention of the Florida Legislature.

With that in mind, two of the biggest companies in the rapidly evolving business, FanDuel and DraftKings, have joined forces, according to an Associated Press report, to hire a legislative lobbyist who happens to be “a prominent GOP fundraiser.”

A number of other legislative bodies will be paying close attention, assuming. The Florida effort results in action that benefits fantasy wagering and has applications elsewhere.

Nevada regulators who usually like to project images of themselves with comfortable positions on the cutting edge of the gaming industry have surprised some industry leaders and analysts by not having more to say about the subject before now.

Is it gambling or is fantasy sports wagering a cleverly conceived cut-out in current regs and laws that exempts laws that exempts it from regulatory action. Horse racing enjoys the same kind of loophole.

Peter Schoenke, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, said his group decided to hire lobbyist Brian Ballard and his firm because, as the AP wrote, “It is important to establish a presence in Tallahassee and start educating lawmakers about the dynamics of fantasy sports.”

“This fantasy business has just come out of no where,” said a senior executive with a Nevada company operating multiple sports books. “But the pace of change across the gaming landscape is faster than it used to be. I don’t think it is to Nevada’s benefit to wait too long before the (Control) Board take makes it available to casinos that want it.”

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].

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