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Dan Podheiser

Dan  Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

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DFS news roundup: Alabama and Tennessee attorneys general declare DFS illegal gambling

7 Apr 2016

By Dan Podheiser
The future of real-money daily fantasy sports (DFS) in Alabama is bleak, following Attorney General Luther Strange's ruling Tuesday that DFS violates state law.

In a press release, Strange's office said DraftKings and FanDuel have until May 1 to pull out of Alabama.

"Daily fantasy sports operators claim that they operate legally under Alabama law," Strange said in the press release. "However, paid daily fantasy sports contests are in fact illegal gambling under Alabama law."

Bills to regulate the DFS industry have surfaced in the Alabama legislature (H56 and S 114), with the House version of the bill passing through committee to the full House in early March. Since then, however, no progress has been made.

Neither DraftKings nor FanDuel have commented on the Alabama attorney general's ruling thus far.

• One day after the ruling in Alabama, the attorney general in Tennessee also ruled that DFS constitutes illegal gambling under state law. But despite Attorney General Herbert Slatery's decision, Tennessee remains one of the states furthest along in passing DFS regulations, as the state Senate has already passed a bill (SB2109).

• In Illinois, lawmakers have decided to delay proceedings to legalize DFS as they continue to work on crafting a bill. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan ruled in December that DFS constitutes illegal gambling under state law.

• Many states have either passed or are working on legislation to regulate the daily fantasy sports industry, and a lot of those bills have a certain element in common: Contests based on amateur sports are not allowed. That may be a moot point going forward, however, as DraftKings and FanDuel announced late last week that they will be pulling their college sports contests voluntarily.

• Meanwhile, daily fantasy sports operator DraftDay has moved "down under" with its launch of DraftStars in Australia. Draftstars will be the "official daily fantasy sports partner" of the Australian Football League.
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