Louisiana approves daily fantasy sports legislation

Simona Boshkova | Published 24 Jun 2020, 10:54 a.m.

There have been a couple of new activities when it comes to sports betting at some of the US states. For example, we have reported that there was a sports betting bill proposed in Georgia. This is, in fact, a renewed attempt of legalising sports betting in this state, since there were previous unsuccessful attempts.

Furthermore, after it was reported that California considers legalising sports betting, it seems that we’ll have to wait for the official approval of the legislation a little bit more as California might postpone the sports betting bill.

Today we’re bringing you news about Louisiana. We’ve already reported that the Louisiana Governor has signed the bill and the question of legalising sports betting in Louisiana will be on the November ballot. While this ballot is yet to be voted, the Louisiana Senate approved daily fantasy sports betting legislation.

It took almost two years for the Senate to agree on the tax rate

It appears that daily fantasy sports are close to being launched in Louisiana. In 2018, 47 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved the legislature on daily fantasy sports in the state. However, the state has taken almost two years to agree on the tax rate and place regulations. Finally, HB 64, which sets the tax rate, received final passage by the Senate. 

The tax legislation was approved by an 82-11 vote. It foresees that an 8% state tax on net revenues of daily fantasy sports contests will be charged. In addition, the legislation defines net revenues and dedicates the tax to the state’s Early Childhood Education Fund.

In 2019, Louisiana lawmakers weren’t able to come to an agreement on the regulations and the tax rate for daily fantasy sports. In fact, the tax rate wasn’t even voted on in the Senate last year. Then, the DFS bills passed, but the bill for setting daily fantasy sports rules couldn’t gain the needed two-thirds in the Senate.

The daily fantasy sports bill was sponsored by Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley and was firstly approved by the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, setting up Tuesday’s approval by the Senate. If everything goes right, daily fantasy sports will be live and running by the end of this year in the 47 parishes that voted for them.

A special session by the Louisiana legislature was called

In order for this to be accomplished, a special session by the Louisiana legislature was called. This is a rare situation, and calling a special session is usually done by the Governor. This special session is the second one in Louisiana, after the first session in 2011, which lawmakers called for redrawing state political district lines.

On June 11, Governor John Bel Edwards signed the bill for daily fantasy sports regulations. Now, after the bill for tax rate was approved, it should head to the Governor for his signature. The lawmakers agreed on a couple of regulations that come with the bill.

Under the regulations, players must be at least 21 years old in order to be able to play for real money prizes. Moreover, to be able to operate, daily fantasy sports operators like FanDuel and DraftKings have to apply for licences by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.