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Florida fantasy sports bill awaits floor vote in state Senate

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(The Center Square) — Daily Fantasy Sports operators are awaiting the passage of a new bill if they want to keep hopes alive of providing their services in the Sunshine State.

Senate Bill 1568 is sponsored by state Sen. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coastand would create the Fantasy Sports Contest Amusement Act, which authorizes the offering of fantasy sports contests.

The bill would require the Florida Gaming Control Commission to enforce and administer the actand it would also be authorized to take certain actions against an operator.

The bill is on the Senate’s special order calendar awaiting a floor vote. Time is not on the side of bill supporters with the session scheduled to end on Friday.

Daily fantasy sports apps Betr, Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks, were forced to cease operations on March 1 after the commission sent all three cease-and-desist letters in February to stop offering or accepting bets or wagers from Florida residents. Operators were previously sent cease-and-desist letters last year in September to end “pick’em” games in Florida.

According to the bill, only peer-to-peer games and traditional draft competitions will be allowed. At the same time, contest operators would be prohibited from participating in a fantasy sports contest that the operator offers.

Furthermore, any employees or agents of a contest operator would be prevented from sharing confidential information with a third party that could affect the outcome of fantasy sports play.

The bill states that the intent of the legislation is to ensure public confidence in the integrity of fantasy sports contests and their operators and to regulate participants and contest operators while enacting consumer protections related to fantasy sports contests.

The commission would be required to enforce and administer the act. It would be authorized to take certain actions, including revoking an operator’s license, conducting investigations and monitoring the operation and play of fantasy sports contests.

Winning outcomes cannot be based on the score, point spread, or any performance or performances of any single actual team or combination of teams or any single performance of an individual athlete or player in an actual sports event.

Fantasy sports operators would be required to apply with the commission for a license that would be effective for one year and would have to be renewed annually. The cost of the initial license would be $500,000, with a renewal cost of $250,000.