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Could states approve casinos as daily fantasy sports operators?

Broward lawyer's daily fantasy sports vision is crystallizing after Nevada ruling

I moderated a panel discussion last November at the Florida Gaming Congress, coordinating opening remarks by three experts on compulsive gambling, one anti-gambling advocate and one oddball: He talked about how daily fantasy sports was the fastest growing gambling option. And he had some very futuristic ideas.

Now, Daniel Wallach, of the law firm Becker and Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale, you have my apology. Your vision of casinos offering daily fantasy sports could be playing out.

DraftKings and FanDuel offer the chance to pick a fantasy team for one day (it's especially popular in football and baseball) and the real on-the-field results determine who did the best job picking. DraftKings and FanDuel have partnerships with sports broadcasting networks and professional leagues, for good reason: Anybody who has action on games is going to watch them. Better ratings equal more revenue for everyone.

But daily fantasy has operated under a legal loophole created in 2006 (that's a whole nother story) and that legality is being questioned. Nevada last week was the first to declare daily fantasy sports illegal, and the fact that the state is home to all those large casinos is not an accident.

Wallach, whom I thought was basically howling at the moon, has been proposing that casinos (and eventually a related online site) be allowed to offer fantasy action (but not necessarily at the expense of FanDuel or DraftKings). Having casinos -- in Florida's case, that's the South Florida horse tracks, dog tracks and jai-alai frontons -- would provide sturdier regulation because a regulatory framework is already in place, and that kind of oversight would increase tax revenue for states. It also would solve the problem of the aging demographic of casino patrons — fantasy sports is a young person's game — by bringing new foot traffic to the casinos. They'd be crazy not to push for daily fantasy sports in casinos.

When could we get them? Not even Wallach is enough of a savant to tell us that.

Nsortal@SouthFlorida.com

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