The Harsh Reality of Fantasy Sports
Written by Moses & Rooth on October 26, 2015
A federal grand jury has announced that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has violated Florida’s gambling laws. There has been confirmation that an investigation into DFS has taken place and those in Florida who attempted to participate in real-money play received an email stating that they are no longer able to accept deposits or let any Florida users enter the contests. Although they are currently allowing Florida customers to access their accounts to withdraw money, the company stated that it hoped it will be able to provide Florida residents with a way to play in the future.
Another fantasy football league known as Star Fantasy Leagues has also announced that it will be leaving the state and is currently blocking fantasy footballers from Florida. The other fantasy leagues are either having their legal teams look into it or are not currently making a remark regarding the matter. Between the potential federal and state charges in Florida, the future of fantasy sports may seem bleak.
Illegal Gambling Business Act
There has yet to be any information released on which active operators will be targeted by the grand jury. It has yet to be decided if the Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1970 was violated by the federal grand jury investigation. The Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1970 is a law that is meant to deal with gambling operations that deal with organized crime. A violation is considered to have occurred if the company violates state law, if it involves five or more people, and if it makes a gross revenue totally over $2,000 a day for thirty days. This was the law that charged the poker sites in 2011.
The Future of Fantasy Sports in Florida
There really is no direct law that deals with fantasy sports. The key question in Florida law is whether the act can be considered a “stake,” “bet,” or “wager.” Florida currently allows for horse racing and gambling at casinos owned by Native American tribes. Gambling is considered illegal if wages, stakes, or bets are made for something else that has a value. The result is due to a trial or a contest. A person who assists, abets, or aids another in such an act can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to sixty days in jail and a fine up to $500. It will be interesting to see how fantasy sports end up being characterized by Florida and whether any of these companies will be charged with committing a crime.
Are You Facing Illegal Gambling Charges?
If you are facing illegal gambling charges in the state of Florida, you should contact an attorney who will be able to explain the charges and potential consequences that you are facing. Our attorneys at Moses and Rooth are available 24/7 to provide you with a free consultation. Please contact our firm at 407-377-0150 to schedule a free consultation today.