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State Capital Briefs

November 11, 2015 - 6:45pm


As two Florida Republican lawmakers propose regulations for the daily fantasy-sports industry, the New York attorney general has ordered two major fantasy-sports companies to stop doing business in his state. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued cease-and-desist letters Tuesday to the companies DraftKings and FanDuel, alleging that they are involved in illegal gambling. "Our investigation has found that, unlike traditional fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports companies are engaged in illegal gambling under New York law, causing the same kinds of social and economic harms as other forms of illegal gambling, and misleading New York consumers," Schneiderman said in a statement on his website.

The move came the same day that state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton, said they will seek to pass legislation to regulate daily fantasy-sports companies in Florida. In a news release Tuesday, Negron indicated that he views the fast-growing industry as legal but in need of regulation. "Government should have little to no involvement in the recreational daily lives of Floridians," Gaetz said in the release.

"I have played fantasy football since I was a freshman in high school, and I have never felt the need for protection from the government." Fantasy sports involve players paying entry fees to draft "teams" that compete against each other for cash prizes based on the actual performance of athletes. But the industry has come under scrutiny from prosecutors and states because of the growth of online daily fantasy games. Critics argue the games are a form of gambling, but the industry disputes that, saying the games are based on skill.


A political committee tied to state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam raised $693,980 during October and neared $3.1 million for the year, according to a newly filed finance report. The committee, known as "Florida Grown," spent $77,698 during the month and had about $2.46 million in available cash as of Oct. 31. Putnam is widely believed to be looking at running for governor in 2018. His contributions in October included $450,000 from committees linked to the business group Associated Industries of Florida.

Also last month, a political committee headed by incoming Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, raised $58,750, according to its report. The committee, known as the "Treasure Coast Alliance," had about $1.62 million in cash on hand as of Oct. 31. Negron is in line to become Senate president after the 2016 elections.


Two Democrats running for open Senate seats in Broward County are piling up campaign cash. Attorney Gary Farmer, who opened a campaign account last month in Senate District 29, quickly raised $204,615 in about four weeks, according to a newly filed finance report. Farmer also loaned $100,892 to his campaign for the seat that will be vacated next year by term-limited Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate. Farmer's contributions included $1,000 from former Gov. Charlie Crist and $250 from former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the report shows.

Farmer is running against former state Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek. Waldman raised $2,525 in October, bringing his overall total to $118,386, his latest report shows. Waldman earlier also loaned $202,500 to his campaign. Meanwhile, in nearby Senate District 33, Plantation Democrat Lauren Book raised $67,685 in October, bringing her overall total to $422,659, according to her finance report. Book is running against Davie Democrat Emmanuel Blimie for a seat that will be vacated next year by term-limited Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood. Blimie had not raised any money as of Oct. 31.


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