Florida lawmakers are making yet another push for the legalization of daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the Sunshine State.
News 4 Jax reported that two Republican lawmakers have brought the issue of fantasy sports regulation back to the floor, five months after both chambers failed to see eye to eye on whether to allow the games in the state.
According to the report, Republican Senator Dana Young introduced SB 374 last week. The legislation aims to classify fantasy sports as a game of skill and thus not subject to Florida gambling laws.
Rep. Jason Brodeur followed Young’s move and filed a similar bill in the House on Tuesday. Like Young’s proposal, Brodeur’s HB 223 intends to clear fantasy sports contests as a game of skill.
The difference between the two proposals lies in the demographics of the fantasy sports. Unlike Young’s bill, Brodeur intends to allow fantasy contests based on the performances of athletes in college, high-school and youth sports.
The measures will be considered during the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January.
This is the third time that lawmakers have pushed for the legalization of daily fantasy sports in Florida. As a backgrounder, the issue dates back to 1991 when the state’s former attorney general weighed in on the subject.
Then-acting Florida attorney general Lawson Lamar declared that any fantasy sports operator who charges a fee would violate state gambling laws.
Republican senator Joe Negron and Rep. Matt Gaetz where the first lawmakers who introduced plans for the legalization of DFS. On November 10, 2015, the two lawmakers submitted DFS-friendly legislation that was somewhat similar to a bill introduced in Illinois.
That bill draft leant heavily on the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) for language to define qualifying games. Unfortunately, the bill met its demise in Congress.
Brodeur, meanwhile, took a second swing at DFS legality when he filed H149, which clarified the legality of DFS and did not regulate the industry in Florida.