The growing popularity of fantasy sports has grown tremendously over the past decade and like all things in the internet age, its online presence has exploded as well. This has led to a burgeoning industry of online, daily fantasy sports’ sites that allow contestants to enter money pools by choosing a fantasy team of players and peg their team against those of other contestants in the pool.
This increasing popularity in daily fantasy sports has also blurred the lines of how states define and regulate gambling. In many states, approximately 45 at the publication of this post, these sites are allowed to operate openly and have permitted the residents of those states to participate without restriction. Louisiana, however, is a state that has lagged behind in this push to legitimize daily fantasy sports. In fact, under current state law, fantasy sports in general are considered gambling.
In the 2015 regular house session, House Bill No. 475 was introduced by Rep. Joseph Lopinto, R-Jefferson. H.B. 475 specifically excludes fantasy or simulation sports games from the definition of gambling. It also would allow for Louisiana state residents to participate in daily fantasy sports games online. On May 6, 2015, H.B. 475 passed the House by a vote of 71 to 20. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.