Daily Fantasy Sports Betting Now Legal in Louisiana
Tuesday’s mid-term election initiatives provided reasons to cheer for the future of sports betting in the state of Louisiana. Louisiana citizens voted earlier this week to legalize daily fantasy sports. 47 of the state’s 64 parishes (counties) voted “yes” on the proposal – meaning that residents of those specific parishes can now legally play daily fantasy sports.
While citizens of Louisiana have casually played fantasy sports, players in these counties now have the chance to legally bet on fantasy sports on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. These parishes include Orleans, East and West Baton Rouge and Lafayette. It is reported that the various daily fantasy sports sites will regulate which areas of the state will allow betting on daily fantasy sports by utilizing GPS monitoring on phones and computers.
FanDuel and DraftKings heavily lobbied in Louisiana in support of the daily fantasy sports initiative. The two industry leaders in daily fantasy sports donated a combined one million dollars to Fairness in Fantasy Sports in Louisiana – the leading pro-fantasy sports group in the state. Opposition to the daily fantasy sports initiative was spearheaded by the Louisiana Family Forum and the Louisiana Baptist Convention. These opponents however did not succeed in waylaying the bill, as FanDuel and DraftKings’ investment paid off – as now more than 70% of the state of Louisiana is eligible to legally engage in daily fantasy sports.
Fans of FanDuel, DraftKings and other DFS sites will have to wait until Louisiana determines how to tax and regulate the various DFS companies engaging in business in the state, before they can officially start betting on daily fantasy sports. This will likely occur early next year.
While there were no initiatives on the 2018 mid-term ballot directly dealing with sports (casino) betting in the state – the fact that Louisiana voters so greatly supported this daily fantasy sports initiative is a good sign for the future of legalized sports betting in the state. There are indications that Senator Daniel Martiny may introduce legislation in 2019 regarding sports gambling in Louisiana that may open the door to legalizing all sports (casino) gambling in the state.
According to the American Gaming Association – legal sports betting in Louisiana could net the state upwards of $65 million a year in additional revenues. While certainly not a guarantee of legalization next year – the sports gambling landscape in Louisiana is looking bright. We wouldn’t be surprised if 2019 is the year when sports betting in Louisiana officially becomes legal throughout the state. If the daily fantasy sports vote is a litmus test for sports betting in Louisiana – then all signs point to an optimistic 2019 in the world of sports gambling in the Bayou State.