Proposed bill would legalize wide swath of fantasy sports in Florida

Football on computer keyboard
Image: Shutterstock

Fantasy operators are still open to the Florida market despite receiving a cease and desist letter from the state Attorney General. A new bill filed for the 2024 legislative session could clear up the uncertainty for the industry.

Republican Rep. Jason Shoaf has pre-filed HB 679, which would broadly legalize fantasy sports under a definition that seemingly allows both roster-style fantasy games and fantasy versus the house.

Per the bill, fantasy sports is defined as:

“A contest in which a participant pays an entry fee and manages a fantasy or simulation sports team composed of athletes from a professional sports organization with the opportunity to win a cash prize.”

Contests must:

  • Establish and disclose the prize pool before the contest begins
  • Winning outcomes “reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the fantasy sports contest participant”
  • Results determined by accumulated statistical results
  • Not based on the performance of an entire team
  • Must be based on the performance of at least two players

The bill would also explicitly prohibit fantasy sports involving college athletes.

Anyone who violates these laws would face a misdemeanor charge and a $1,000 fine.

Florida has long been a state where the laws open questions about the legality of DFS in the state. Nonetheless, major operators, including DraftKings and FanDuel, continue to offer contests. While some operators received the cease and desist letter for all products, including roster-style DFS, DraftKings and FanDuel did not receive such communication.

The 2024 legislative session in Florida begins on Jan. 9.