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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fantasy sports bill's odds are long, but Senator continues push



Plan A is long dead. And Plan B isn't doing much better.

But undaunted, the state legislator pushing a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports games in Florida, said he still sees a shot to get his legislation through before the Legislature's annual session ends next week.

Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, proposed a bill in January to allow daily fantasy sports companies like FanDuel and DraftKings to operate in Florida as long as they register with the state and abide by a host of new regulations.

When the bill hit roadblocks in the Senate, Negron turned to amending a statewide gaming bill to include the wording to declare fantasy sports games legal. Alas, that bill essentially died in the Senate Appropriations Committee this week.

But Negron said he's not done yet.

"I still think it's in play," Negron said on Thursday.

He said his best opportunity to get the language through may rest with the Florida House, where a statewide gambling bill includes much of what he had sought. The trick is whether that bill gets heard by the full House, passes and then makes its way to the Florida Senate for consideration.

"The issue is still alive in the House so we'll have to see how it plays out," Negron said.

Negron's effort comes at a time other states are debating whether daily fantasy sports games are legal in their state. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier this week that Georgia's attorney general has ruled that the games are not authorized in that state. In doing so, Georgia joins Texas, New York, Illinois and Mississippi among the states that have issued opinions declaring daily fantasy sports games illegal, or forms of gaming in recent months.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2016 2:03pm]


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