Louisiana expects to see the first daily fantasy operators open up in the state before the summer, with sports betting also on the move, but still a long way to go.
Daily Fantasy Sports Eyeing Pre-Summer Launch in Louisiana
Fantasy sports betting will be coming to Louisiana soon after all, and the state’s 47 parishes may begin applying for a license as early as next month, reports the Associated Press. This comes on the tail of a new decision by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to regulate daily sports betting, which should launch at some point in April or May. A more likely time-frame, though is June.
According to Louisiana State Police’s Gaming Enforcement Division Major Chuck McNeal, all interested stakeholders would be able to begin submitting applications from February 19 onwards.
Applicants will then have to undergo a review by the police which takes between 60 and 90 days to complete and verify. Once that is cleared, the Gaming Control Board may issue a permit to the requesting party.
Should the Board decides to expedite its own licensing and approval process, this means that daily fantasy contests may be up and running in Louisiana before the summer. Mainstream brands such as DraftKings and FanDuel will benefit from a legalized daily fantasy betting framework, as the operators specialize in this type of contests foremost.
The decision to regulate and legalize DFS was taken during the November 2018 referendum which came with a question whether state residents approved the legalization of fantasy sports wagering.
The majority of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted in favor of the move with the Gaming Control Board left to thrash out the details. As per the existing regulation, all participants will need to comply with the legal gambling age which is 21 in the state. However, the state won’t allow daily fantasy sports betting on its entire territory, but only in the parishes that have voted in favor, or some 47 inter-state jurisdictions.
Louisiana Readies to Legalize Professional Sports Betting
Apart from pushing ahead with the legalization of daily fantasy contests, Louisiana is also actively looking to bring its betting on regular and college sports industry online. During the November 2020 ballot, the state took another vote with 55 parishes backing the idea of legalizing sports in the state as a source of additional revenue.
The state saw massive losses in revenue from the existing casino and gaming industries, generating $830 million in losses through November 2020, and with some $100 million lost in tax revenue since the pandemic struck.
Unlike daily fantasy sports, however, Louisiana is not very likely to act as quickly on professional sports. Legislators and regulators will have to come up with a regulatory framework as well as set license fees, renewal fees, and detail taxation as well as how the money will be used.
The added challenge of the pandemic means that lawmakers will have to stop and have a think-through where the money will be the most useful.
There is also the pushback from gambling opponents such as the Louisiana Family Forum and pastors who ultimately lost out to the action committee known as Louisiana Wins which ended up investing over $2 million to support pro-gambling messages during the election campaign.
With both professional and fantasy sports betting locked in, Louisiana is likely to see strong interest from FanDuel and DraftKings in the very least.