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Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Passes First Vote

Stephan Savoia / AP

In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston.

Stephan Savoia / AP

A bill that would regulate the daily fantasy sports industry in California passed its first vote.

The Assembly Government Operations Committee voted 17-to-1 on Wednesday to create licenses, rules, and penalties for the growing industry. Many lawmakers said the measure needs more work. There’s also an open question if regulators will classify daily fantasy sports as gambling, which could negate the law entirely.

The Assembly has until the end of January to pass it, or the bill dies, so lawmakers are looking to the Senate to work out the details.

"I normally am not supportive of stuff that’s not fully cooked, but I understand we have deadlines," Republican Assemblyman Scott Wilk told the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray. "I also trust you to work collaboratively with all of us, so I’m going to be supporting your bill today."

So is the industry. The Fantasy Sports Trade Commission pushed for the bill's passage, even though chairman Peter Schoenke says he's neutral on the contents.

"It’s the first inning of a long game to get a bill passed," Schoenke says. "So overall we like the direction it’s going."

Other states have banned daily fantasy sports as unregulated gambling; California regulators have not weighed in.

A bill that would regulate the daily fantasy sports industry in California passed its first vote.