Fantasy Sports Contests in Louisiana? Voters to decide in November

Published: May. 25, 2018 at 4:22 PM CDT
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Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a bill that could make playing fantasy sports for money legal in the state of Louisiana.

But whether it actually becomes legal will be up to Louisiana voters.

On Friday, Edwards signed House Bill 484, which would essentially make gaming on popular sites like Fanduel and DraftKings legal if voters approve.

Instead of betting on individual games, these sites allow players to create a fictional (or fantasy) team made up of real-world athletes. Players then win or lose money based on how well their made-up team does on that day.

Below is text taken from House Bill 484's digest, that summarizes the bill. Voters will decide on the November ballot.

House Bill 484

Abstract: Creates the Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Act, requires a proposition election to determine whether fantasy sports contests shall be permitted in each parish, and provides for the regulation of such contests.

Proposed law creates the "Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Act" and provides for a proposition election to be held on November 6, 2018, to determine whether fantasy sports contests shall be permitted in a particular parish. For purposes of proposed law, "fantasy sports contest" means any fantasy or simulation sports game or contest played through the internet or mobile device with all

of the following elements:

(1) Participants create a simulation sports team based on the current membership of actual amateur or professional sports organizations.

(2) All prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to the participants in advance of the game or contest, and the value of the prizes or awards is not determined by the number of participant or the amount of any fees paid by those participants.

(3) All winning outcomes reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participant and are predominantly determined by accumulated statistical results of the performance of the individuals, including athletes in the case of sporting events.

(4) No winning outcome is based on either of the following:

- (a) On the score, point-spread, or any performance or performances of any single realworld team or any combination of such teams.

- (b) Solely on any single performance of an individual athlete in any single real-world sporting or other event.

If a majority of the qualified electors in at least one parish in the state vote to approve the proposition to permit fantasysports contests in such parish, proposed law requires the La. GamingControl Board to adopt all rules necessary to implement, administer, and regulate fantasy sports contests as provided by proposed law.

Upon adoption of rules by the La. Gaming Control Board and the enactment of laws to provide for the licensing, regulation, and taxation of revenue relative to fantasy sports contests, proposed law does all of the following:

(1) Authorizes fantasy sports contests in only those parishes in which a majority of qualified electors in the parish voting on the proposition voted for the proposition to permit fantasy sports contests in the parish.

(2) Provides an exception to the present law crimes of gambling (R.S. 14:90) and gambling by computer (R.S. 14:90.3) for fantasy sports contests.

(Amends R.S. 27:15(B)(1); Adds R.S. 14:90(D) and 90.3(J) and R.S. 27:301 - 305)