Florida Senate president considers ban on fantasy sports betting

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The State Senate president is considering a ban on fantasy sports websites, like Fan Duel and Draft Kings, saying they may constitute illegal gambling under state law.

"I'm not an expert on gaming," said State. Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Florida). "But when the gaming commission in Nevada says it is, it probably is."

Last week, Nevada regulators ordered the websites to stop operating in that state, saying they are games of chance, not skill.

That ruling led Gardiner to question whether it should be banned here.

"You can regulate them," he said. "You can make it very clear through the attorney general's office that it's a form of gaming and that it's not allowed."

Gaming attorney Marc Dunbar, who is based in Tallahassee, says fantasy sports are illegal, even under current law.

"We have a specific statute that says Floridians can not wager against each other on games of skill," he said. "We have another statute that says Floridians can't wager against each other on games of chance."

He goes so far as to say federal regulators could go after Fan Duel and Draft Kings based on their operation in Florida, and fine them so much, they'd be done for.

"Today it's here, and tomorrow when the Department of Justice and the FBI want it, it's gone."

Fan Duel sent us a statement saying they are cooperating with all parties on defining the right set of rules for the industry as it continues to grow.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Tampa would not confirm reports that say they have subpoenaed the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

That association reportedly gave $70,000 to state legislators in contributions last month.

They have not responded to our request for comment.