Industry Reports

Most Louisiana Parishes Greenlight Online DFS Contest Legalization

Almost three-quarters of Louisiana’s parishes had their voters agree to make online daily fantasy sports (DFS) legal. The vote started a process which could see people across the entire state be able to access DFS contents online by the end of the upcoming year.

A total of 47 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes backed the ballot measure on November 6th vote, a step which made it the 42nd state which gave the green light to online daily fantasy sports. The remaining 17 parishes which turned down the DFS legalization are mostly situated in some rural areas in the northern part of the state.

Supporters of DFS legalization in Louisiana have claimed that the addition of the new betting option would be beneficial for the state in case that daily fantasy sports are well-regulated. In addition, the legalization of DFS by state legislators, the proposed gambling legislation amendment would result in additional revenue brought to Louisiana.

So, both the Governor John Bel Edwards and local lawmakers agreed to allow Louisiana voters in each parish to decide whether to legalize DFS contests. After the vote, it became clear that the strongest support for the daily fantasy sports legalization came from the New Orleans area, where 73% of residents who voted supported the proposal for DFS legalization. Orleans’ neighboring parishes also backed the amendment, with 71% of the vote in St. Bernard being in favor of the amendment, while Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Tammany saw 69%, 67% and 62% of the residents who voted to support DFS legalization.

Louisiana parishes where all major cities in the state are, also backed the amendment, including East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Caddo, Rapides, Calcasieu and Ouachita.

DFS Expected to Be Rolled Out in Louisiana Sometime in 2019

The legalization of DFS contests will provide local residents to access the services provided by operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings and form imaginary teams of real-life athletes and score points depending on those players’ accomplishments in actual games. Real-cash entry fees are applied, and payouts are also available to winners.

Opponents of the daily fantasy sports amendment described it as an expansion of the existing gambling market.

The November 6th vote will not see immediate results in terms of the implementation of DFS contests in the state of Louisiana. Before local voters are given the chance to start using the services of DFS providers such as DraftKings and FanDuel, state’s lawmakers will have to enact an adequate regulatory regime and taxation plans which are expected to be considered and debated over the 2019 legislative session. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board will also have to roll out its regulation on the new gambling activity.

The DFS games will be available only in parishes where they had been authorized by the voters, anyone will be able to access the DFS providers’ websites in case they travel to those parishes.

The ballot proposal was sponsored by Kirk Talbot, a River Ridge Republican Representative, who explained that he expects the new online daily fantasy sports betting options to become available in Louisiana around fall 2019.