The Louisiana State Legislature recently passed a bill to legalize fantasy sports contests within the State. The fantasy sports bill will now be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk for signature.
What are the notable aspects of the Louisiana fantasy sports bill?
The bill vests rulemaking authority in the State’s Gaming Control Board to adopt and implement appropriate regulations to govern fantasy sports contests and their operators. While the bill removes properly-run fantasy sports operations from the purview of the State gambling law prohibitions, the authority to decide whether fantasy sports contests may be offered is ultimately delegated to individual parishes. The fantasy sports bill contemplates a statewide referendum in November 2018, whereby each parish would offer a ballot to determine whether fantasy sports contests may be permitted within each applicable parish. As a result, depending upon the results of such an election, in the event that the bill itself is enacted, fantasy sports operators face the challenging possibility of excluding residents of certain Louisiana parishes from participation in their fantasy sports contests.
Evolution of Fantasy Sports Regulations and the Ongoing Need for a Fantasy Sports Lawyer
Louisiana is the latest example of states across the country that have taken action in the fantasy sports space. The overall trend of such intervention has been to legalize and regulate the industry. However, whether fantasy sports are legal in Louisiana under the subject fantasy sports bill will ultimately be decided on a local, not State level. Similarly, each state’s fantasy sports regulations are inevitably unique in one way or another. Accordingly, in order to effectively navigate this patchwork regulatory framework, it is critical that operators work closely with knowledgeable fantasy sports lawyers to regularly review their respective contest platforms, entry fees, prize structures and marketing campaigns.