Fantasy sports betting regulations near passage in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Residents of the 47 Louisiana parishes where voters agreed to legalize fantasy sports betting edged closer Friday to being able to compete for the online cash prices.
The Senate voted 31-3 to set the regulations that are needed before betting can begin. The proposal still needs approval from the House before it can reach the governor’s desk.
In fantasy sports, people create imaginary teams of real-life sports players and score points based on how those players perform in actual games. Websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel charge an entry fee and offer payouts to winners.
Voters in three-quarters of Louisiana parishes agreed in the November 2018 election to legalize fantasy sports betting in their parishes. But the activity can’t start until the required rules and tax rates are set.
An effort to establish those failed last year, bogged down in a separate feud over whether to legalize live action sports betting. Lawmakers revived the proposed regulations this year, and senators added them into a bill by Rep. Tanner Magee, a Houma Republican.
Among the many regulations, operators of fantasy sports contests would have to be licensed by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Participants in the competitions for cash prizes would have to be at least 21 years old. And the imaginary teams couldn’t involve participants in high school or youth sports events.
Tax rates still would need to be set. Lawmakers are planning to debate that legislation in a special session that starts Monday.
House Bill 357: www.legis.la.gov