Louisiana Daily Fantasy Sports Betting Edges Closer

Although voters in 47 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana approved Daily Fantasy Sports betting in 2018, residents have been unable to take part.

The Louisiana legislature needed to set rules and tax rates and the process was long and difficult. But they’re getting closer.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill setting fantasy sports regulations on Thursday, according to The Center Square.

Legislation setting tax rates for fantasy sports moved the same day in a special session through the House Committee on Ways And Means, The Center Square reported. The bill sets a tax of 8 percent on sports fantasy contests.

According to the Associated Press, the fantasy rules that were approved include requiring to be 21 to qualify for cash prizes and fantasy sports players such as DraftKings and FanDuel will have to be licenced by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board for licences.

The legislature failed to reach agreement on the fantasy regulations and tax rates in 2019. The House approved the DFS legislation but in the Senate, the bill outlining the rules for fantasy sports failed to meet the necessary two-thirds. The Senate had not voted on the tax measure.

Legal sports betting heads down the same path. Unlike professional sports in 2018, the parishes of the state will have a chance to support sports betting before going to the legislature for rules and tax rates.

On May 27, the Louisiana House of Representatives voted 71-24 to authorise SB 130, giving voters the following question: Should sports wagering practises and operations be allowed in the parish, yes or no.

In the November election, Louisiana was the seventh state with a vote on sports betting. South Dakota and Maryland have adopted legislation which brought the issue of sports betting before voters. California is also trying to get a bill forward to put the issue on the ballot.

This year, Sen. Barrow Peacock put a fantasy sports bill to the Senate but he postponed it. Peacock cautioned lawmakers during the hearing on the bill to ensure that sports betting did not go the way of fantasy sports, with voters approving it then not coming to agreement in the legislature on the regulations.

But HB 357 was added to fantasy sports legislation late in the legislative session and received approval before the session concluded June 1. Posted by Edwards Thursday.

The legislature called a special session to take up budget issues right after the regular session ended. The legislation on fantasy tax rates was introduced last week and advanced Thursday by the committee.

Peacock said last week that he is hoping the fantasy sports tax bill can get the two-thirds vote required in each chamber.

”We’ll see if it can get the votes,” Peacock said, adding that different stakeholders see fantasy sports as competition to their interests. “I am concerned the same thing will happen with sports wagering. It will be very close vote either way.”