Legislation to regulate DFS betting in Illionois was postponed Sunday after the proposal became embroiled in vote-buying allegations.
Democratic Rep. Michael Zalewski, one of the bill's sponsors, told colleagues in a House committee Sunday that he would not put the proposal up to a vote before the Legislature shelves its spring session. “This became a distraction to an unhealthy degree” Zalewski said.
Democratic Rep. Rita Mayfield had said she became privy to an email in which a lobbyist working for FanDuel and DraftKings suggested he could get support from members of the House Legislative Black Caucus in exchange for contributions to their foundations. Mayfield made the allegation during a hearing on the bill and said she didn't feel comfortable voting on the proposal.
Mayfield said: “The email basically alleged that in exchange for considerations, donations, that he could guarantee votes. That's illegal.”
During the hearing, Mayfield didn't elaborate on the contents of the email, didn't say who it was sent to, or who showed it to her.
A spokesman for FanDuel and DraftKings denied that they participated in the vote-buying overture Mayfield alleged. “We categorically reject the implication that DraftKings or FanDuel would partake in such behavior. We do not condone this type of activity. It's simply not how we do business, here or anywhere in the country,” spokesman Jeremy Kudon said.
Zalewski said he would continue working on the legislation and trying to convince his colleagues the state needs regulations for the online contest.