Fantasy Sports and Online Sports Betting Under Fire in Louisiana
June 14, 2019
Louisiana made headlines early in 2019 by approving fantasy sports betting for a majority of its residents. Now, some lawmakers are backtracking and trying to slow the progression of legal online sports betting platforms in the state. Many residents are upset because they voted overwhelmingly to approve the legalization of online gambling.
In 2018 lawmakers from Louisiana were able to craft legislation that would place the subject of online fantasy sports betting before voters. Parishes in the state were allowed to decide their own fate where sports betting is concerned. A huge majority of parishes voted to allow fantasy sports wagering through platforms such as FanDuel and DraftKings.
It now seems that the celebration of those who like to bet sports online for real money could be short-lived. Some lawmakers have begun an effort to derail the implementation of online sports betting platforms. State lawmaker Danny Martiny led a filibuster to delay the passage of a sports betting law in Louisiana, citing concerns over tax revenue structures.
Martiny has actually been a proponent of legalized online gambling, but he was apparently left feeling mistreated when his efforts to legalize real online sports betting failed. Martiny even stated that he did not appreciate the way he was treated when his bills were considered before the state legislature.
The response to the roadblock has been swift from FanDuel and DraftKings. DraftKings has embarked upon a massive media campaign that references the New Orleans Saints' controversial 2019 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams while accusing legislators of trying to steal a victory that was assured at the ballot box.
Louisiana is looking to join other states that have realized the revenue potential of legalized online sports betting. Tax revenues from sports betting could provide many millions of dollars to the state's treasury over a period of years.
One issue that has always been faced in Louisiana is the opposition of land-based casinos and race tracks to online betting. Some gaming operators fear that legalizing sports betting could impact the revenues that are generated by the live gaming venues in the state.
Lawmakers will continue to debate the passage of online sports betting and Fantasy sports betting in Louisiana throughout the current legislative session.