LA Voters to Decide Fantasy Sports Gambling through Legislation

Louisiana votes in three areas approved a measure to legalize online fantasy sports games. Citizens in the state have won the right to legalize fantasy sports gaming in sixty-four parishes. An earlier law in Louisiana allowed parishes to opt into sports fantasy gambling by voting. Not all of the parishes have been open to fantasy sports gambling. Some of them voted not to have sports gambling as an option.

Fantasy Sports Gambling

Fantasy Sports GamblingDaily fantasy games have been around in the United States since 1990. Several newspapers ran daily fantasy sports specials as a way of drumming up business for their papers. Newspapers were suffering from the beginnings of a downturn in the industry and wanted to publicize something new.

Sports gaming can be categorized into two groups; daily fantasy sports competitions, and competitions that have a guaranteed prize pool. Most daily fantasy sports games operate like a draft; players have a budget to spend on players for their team. The amount paid for each athlete depends on how good the athlete is. Daily fantasy games have different variations. The most common daily fantasy games are 50/50 or double-up games. Players win double their entry fee if they finish within the top fifty percent of participants in the game. A league is another type fantasy game that offers tiered payouts, but also caps the number of contestants.

Many different sports have daily fantasy games. Football, soccer, baseball, auto racing, basketball, and golf are a few sports that have daily fantasy games.

The Ballot Measure

Several states in Louisiana had daily fantasy sports on their ballots for the 2018 election. Some parishes previously legalized daily fantasy sports games. However, this was the first time that fantasy sports games were on the ballot for cash prizes. In general, permission to play daily fantasy sports games was determined by a parish vote. East Baton Rouge Parish, Orleans Parish, Lafayette Parish, Jefferson Parish, St. Charles, St. Tammany, and St. Bernard parishes endorsed daily fantasy sports leagues.

However, not all of the parishes were as enthusiastic about sports gambling. Voters in West Baton Rouge Parish, Ascension Parish, and Livingston Parishes voted against daily fantasy sports.

Future Gambling Measures

The plan calls for daily fantasy sports games to be available online or through an app in January. Bettors will be able to play a variety of sports games, beginning with football playoff teams.

DraftKings and FanDuelSome critics argued that DraftKings and FanDuel used their money to back the legislation. DraftKings and FanDuel are the two largest daily fantasy sports games in the country. The chief opponents of the measure were the Louisiana Baptist Convention, which has nearly 1,700 churches under its rule. The Louisiana Family Forum was also heavily against the proposal due to its strong conservative background.

There will be an interesting debate in the parishes. The debate will be about how to keep customers who live in parishes that did not approve the measure from gambling. In this case, the state is trying something interesting to keep people out—geofencing. Geofencing will use internet location addresses of players. The people who live in the areas that did not approve the measure cannot play. However, with the sheer number of people who may want to play, this may be difficult to do.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.