On Friday, the Louisiana Senate approved a measure that will allow residents of the state to take part in real money online fantasy sports. The House of Representatives sent over the measure, calling for a ballot measure to see voters decide if the option should be allowed. Representative Tanner Magee is responsible for creating House Bill 357.
Legislators in Louisiana already approved a referendum for sports betting via a different option and then on Friday, the full state Senate approved amendments made to Magee’s measure which removed sports betting details and replaced it fantasy sports regulations. The vote of 31 to 3 sent the measure back to the House and they must now approve the changes to move forward.
Right now, fantasy sports is legal but only if money does not change hands. Residents who use sites like FanDuel and DraftKings could be subject to fines or jail time due to the current legal status of daily fantasy sports. This is because such sites charge fees and provide cash prizes to players.
Two years ago, voters in the majority of Louisiana parishes approved fantasy sports that offer cash prizes. In 2019, legislators tried to put regulations in place as well as tax rates, but a former Senator, Danny Martiny, was upset about his sports betting bill and how it was treated, so he filibustered the session and blocked the fantasy sports effort.
Senator Barrow Peacock stated that the Senate is doing what the people of Louisiana voted to do. Right now, lawmakers cannot set tax rats during a non-fiscal regular session. However, the taxation of fantasy sports is on the schedule for a special session that will begin tonight.
With the rules approved by the Senate, players taking part in fantasy sports must be 21 or older. Companies that allow underage players to take part could face a fine of $50,000.