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NEWS 6 March 2018
Louisiana steps up DFS legalisation efforts
By Robert Simmons

Representatives in the US State of Louisiana have introduced a new piece of legislation that would legalise daily fantasy sports contests in the state.

House bill 484, introduced by Representative Kirk Talbot earlier this week, would exclude paid entry daily fantasy sports contests from existing Louisiana state laws prohibiting gambling.

The bill would see the creation of the “Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Act” which would provide the mechanisms required to both legalise and regulate DFS contests in the state, giving the Louisiana Gaming Control Board the final say on any regulatory framework being used in the state.

Under the proposed legislation, a final decision on whether these contests will be permitted rests with Louisiana citizens, who if the legislation advances further, will go to the polls in a state-wide referendum on 12 October 2019.

At present, online gambling, online lottery, sports betting and daily fantasy sports contests are banned in the state. DFS contests have been banned since 1991, following a well publicised action against a 1-900 number fantasy football contest that was operating in the state at the time.

This latest legislatory effort comes hot on the heels of House Bill 245, legislation which would allow sports betting at “eligible live horse racing facilities” which at present includes the Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, Fair Grounds and Louisiana Downs racinos.

It is of course dependent on the US Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Participation Act (PASPA), a federal law prohibiting sports betting in many states across the US.

The third and final piece of legislation in this triumvirate of efforts to revamp the Louisiana gambling industry is Senate Bill 322, which would legalise online gambling on a district-by-district basis.

Under the proposed legislation, authored by Senator Daniel Martiny, each district in the state would decide individually whether they want a referendum concerning the legalisation of online gaming to take place.

Voters in each district would answer one question with a yes or no answer: “Shall internet gaming be allowed to be conducted within the parish of ____ ?” with inclusion in a referendum being based on a positive vote given by a majority of individuals within in each district.

All three bills must first pass through both senate and the House of Representatives before they can be fully instituted in Louisiana.

RELATED TAGS: Online | Industry | Sports Betting | Legal & Regulatory | Casino
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