A measure that would legalize fantasy sports in Illinois is dead for the remainder of the spring legislative session.
The plan passed the Senate, but stalled in the House after a legislator accused a fantasy sports lobbyist of offering charitable donations in exchange for votes.
State Representative Michael Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside, is the measure’s sponsor.
Zalewski says because of the controversy, he’s not going to call the plan for a vote this month.
“This became a distraction to an unhealthy degree,” Zalewski said, without referencing the allegations that another lawmaker made last week.
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.
“The email basically alleged that in exchange for considerations, donations, that he could guarantee votes. That’s illegal,” she said.
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. She has declined to speak to The Associated Press about it.
A spokesman for FanDuel and DraftKings denied that they participated in the vote-buying overture Mayfield alleged.
* The sponsor doesn’t appear to be all that hopeful about the future, either…