Florida House of Representatives is Considering a Bill That Would Regulate Fantasy Sports Contests

January 9, 2024 | Sports Betting

FLORIDA (January 8, 2024) — The proposed HB 679 in Florida is a significant legislative move that aims to regulate fantasy sports contests, bringing clarity and a legal framework to the growing industry. If passed, this bill would define and set rules for the operation of fantasy sports contests, impacting the landscape of online sports gaming in the state.

The bill, introduced by State Representative Jason Shoaf, outlines key provisions that fantasy sports contests must meet to operate legally. One of the crucial requirements is the disclosure of contest prizes and awards to participants before entry. This ensures transparency and helps protect consumers participating in these contests.

Additionally, the legislation emphasizes that winning outcomes in fantasy sports contests should be based on the relative knowledge and skill of participants, primarily relying on accumulated statistical results of the performance of multiple individuals. This distinguishes fantasy sports from traditional forms of gambling, aligning it more closely with skill-based competitions.

The bill also specifies what cannot constitute a winning outcome, such as the score, point spread, or performance of a single team. It also excludes individual performances in single events, poker or other card games, and performances in collegiate or youth sports events. These limitations help define the scope of fantasy sports contests and prevent potential misuse.

If HB 679 is passed, certain fantasy sports contests would be exempt from certain gambling laws, providing legitimacy to an industry that has previously operated in a legal gray area. The proposed effective date of July 1, 2024, signals a potential new era for fantasy sports enthusiasts in Florida, establishing fantasy sports as a recognized and regulated part of the sports and entertainment industry.

However, it’s important to note that violations of the provisions in the bill could result in fines or even misdemeanor charges, indicating a commitment to enforcing the outlined regulations. Overall, the bill reflects a response to the growing popularity and economic potential of fantasy sports, seeking to balance consumer protection with industry growth.


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