The Alabama Senate has stalled a fantasy sports bill (House Bill 361) sponsored by Rep. Kyle South. The bill calls for legalizing betting on fantasy sports including services from online betting sites like Fanduel and DraftKings.
Earlier the bill was approved by the Alabama House of Representatives on May 8. The House had voted 74-22 in favor of the bill. While the Senate has stalled the bill it could be brought back after the Memorial Day weekend.
One thing that should be noted is that Fantasy Sports is already legal in Alabama; however, betting on contests is prohibited.
It was in April 2016 when Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange declared Fantasy sports betting illegal and also sent notice to online betting and gambling operators Fanduel and DraftKings, urging them to discontinue operations in the state. Following the notice, the online betting websites stopped accepting players from the state and also blocked access to Alabama residents.
House Bill 361, known as the Fantasy Contests Act, calls for legalizing fantasy sports betting as it deems fantasy sports to be a game of skill and not of chance.
Talking about the bill, Rep. Kyle South said: “Fantasy sports isn’t a game of chance like the lottery. Anyone who has played fantasy football or baseball knows there is a ton of work and skill that go into building and fielding teams.
“It’s much like a golf tournament or fishing tournament where you pay an entry fee and the winner at the end gets a cash prize. Analytics has changed professional sports in terms of prioritizing certain positions for productivity. Fantasy sports is the same thing. It’s a skill.”
The new legislation it is estimated that the state could gross approximately $2.1 million in revenue. However, there is also widespread opposition to the bill in the conservative state as many consider fantasy sports to be gambling. The bill could be up on the Senate floor next week for debate.