DraftKings and FanDuel begin DFS lobbying in Florida

10 August 2015

DraftKings and FanDuel are to join forces with US body the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) to begin lobbying government officials in Florida to protect the legal status of daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the state.

According to the SaintPetersBlog.com website, despite there being no active or pending legislation regarding fantasy sports in Florida, most DFS operators allow players in the state to take part in games.

DFS websites also have an increasing presence in the state, with FanDuel having recently taken over the Zynga Sports 365 facility in Orlando.

FanDuel and DraftKings, in partnership with the FSTA, have also retained Ballard Partners, which is based in the state, with both operators have commercial deals in place with a number of major Floridian sports teams.

“We continue to boost the FSTA’s resources in states with a large number of fantasy sports players to ensure that residents there can continue to fully play fantasy sports,” FSTA chairman Peter Schoenke said.

“And certainly there’s an added benefit with both CBS and FanDuel and several more fantasy sports companies having operations in the state.”

With the lobbying effort ongoing, Daniel Wallach an attorney that specialises in sports law and gaming law for Florida-based Becker & Poliakoff, warned DFS operators are not exempt from legal actions in the state.

Wallach added: “Although there have been no criminal prosecutions of fantasy sports operators or participants (or alleged aiders and abetters) since the issuance of AGO 91-3, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that an aggressive state prosecutor could seek to target the industry, which has changed dramatically since 1991.

“As more money flows into fantasy sports and the character of the games begin to more closely resemble gambling, rather than an informal social game, the risk of a criminal prosecution heightens.

“As unlikely as that may seem to many, all it takes is one aggressive prosecutor or attorney general to jeopardise Florida’s lucrative and established fantasy sports market.”

Related article: FanDuel recruits Zynga’s sports division for new US offices