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Luther Strange Killed Fantasy Sports in Alabama

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Senator Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat, is now locked in a run-off to win the seat outright.

Christian evangelical hero Roy Moore is galvanizing conservative voters ahead of next Tuesday’s runoff election, and the split is already forming a divide in Trump-World. While Sebastian Gorka and Sarah Palin campaign for Moore, Vice President Mike Pence is heading to Alabama to stump for Strange.

Strange finds himself weakened down the stretch. Fantasy football lovers might be the demographic that will doom him in the final days.

Strange led the charge to ban fantasy sports in the state, according to Yellowhammer News in May 2016:

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“Alabamians who participated in fantasy sports like DraftKings and FanDuel will no longer be able to access those sites beginning today.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced last week that FanDuel and DraftKings had reached a settlement to cease all operations in the state starting May 2. Both companies are now required to block access from any Alabama-based IP address and must process requests to withdraw account balances within seven business days.

“I am pleased to report that fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel have complied with my order that they halt paid contests within the State of Alabama,” Strange said.

The settlement from DraftKings and FanDuel comes one month after they received cease and desist letters from Strange. The Attorney General argued that fantasy sports betting sites are illegal according to Alabama law. Strange says that in Alabama, an activity constitutes illegal gambling if a person stakes something of value on a contest of chance, even when skill is involved, in order to win a prize.

Over 700,000 Alabamians — roughly 20% of the state’s population over the age of 18 — played fantasy sports last year, with the vast majority participating in various NFL and NASCAR fantasy leagues.

Some Alabama sports fans are sad to see DraftKings and FanDuel go.

“You know, won some, lost some, but it was all in fun,” one fan told WVTM 13. “I mean, you don’t put all your hard-earned money into it.”

 

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