Efforts have been stepped up to get daily fantasy sports apps legalized in the state of Louisiana. A new political action committee called the ‘Fairness for Fantasy Sports in Louisiana’ has launched a political campaign with massive support from the top daily fantasy sports companies in the market. FanDuel reportedly donated $154,000 to the campaign and DraftKings is expected to follow suit.
A proposition seeking to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports apps is included in the Nov 6 ballot to be voted on by Louisiana residents. Ryan Bernie, political campaign chairman said a new website has also been set up advocating for the ballot measure and detailing the aims of the campaign.
How The Apps Work
Mobile fantasy sports apps offer an alternative for sports enthusiasts who want convenient and easy access to their favorite fantasy sports. These apps work by enabling participants to form a virtual team of players, mostly strangers, in real time. That means a team is formed on the day a particular game is being played.
Fans can also wager on a player’s performance and can play multiple games at one time. They can also spend their money hassle-free, compared to traditional fantasy sports formats.
Games of Skill
Fantasy sports apps are being pushed and promoted as games of skill and not games of chance like traditional gambling. Supporters insist winning in fantasy sports requires vast knowledge on the game as well as strategy and technique in knowing the players. The scores are also based on how you select players and their real-game performance.
But the notion was junked by former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange saying a participant may miss a large portion of the game due to falling ill or being injured, so generally these fantasy sports contests rely on chance. Strange went after two of the biggest daily fantasy sports operators in FanDuel and DraftKings and made DFS games illegal in the state of Louisiana in 2016.
Parish-by-Parish Vote
Each parish in Louisiana will decide on the measure, which means one parish may approve the measure while others may go against it. State-wide legalization of daily fantasy sports apps will require more than half of the voters in each parish to say YES to the measure.
But the campaign doesn’t come without challenges. A network of over 1000 conservative churches in Louisiana, the Louisiana Family Forum is expressing strong opposition to the measure. The anti-gambling organization is headed by Gene Mills who said the group is encouraging voters to turn down the proposal. Mills said daily fantasy sports apps could negatively impact minors who can easily access these mobile apps.
Fantasy Sports Apps Allowed in Most States
According to gambling industry publication Legal Sports Reports, fantasy sports firms such as FanDuel and DraftKings are currently not operating in nine states including Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Washington and Louisiana. Five of those states, which include Louisiana ban daily fantasy sports betting apps. The companies’ operations in four other states have been met with government opposition and stringent regulations forcing them to pull out. However, these DFS operators are allowed in most of the other states as they contributing via gaming tax revenues.
Future Uncertain
The future of fantasy sports apps remains unclear in Louisiana regardless of the result of the Nov 6 ballot. Ronnie Jones, Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, said a lot of questions are still unanswered, especially in relation to putting up an electronic fence within parishes and who should fork out the money to do that.
Add to that the complex job of creating new legislation, establishing a standard tax structure for the market and forming new regulations. It will take the Louisiana Legislature and the state’s Gaming Control Board a lot of time to do get this all done and approved.
Louisiana Deserves Fair Share
The pro-fantasy sports political committee says the measure will clarify the legal status of fantasy sports in the state and will make sure that companies are taxed for their operations. The group says tax revenue generated from fantasy sports will be a big help in creating new investments as well as funding relevant infrastructure projects.
The website for Fairness for Fantasy Sports in Louisiana says that the government shouldn’t get in the way of how adults in Louisiana decide to spend their own money and that includes betting on fantasy sports. The group says the responsibility to play or not play daily fantasy sports should be placed in the hands of the individual and not the state.
An early voting will take place on Oct 23 – 30 except Sunday – Oct 28. Louisiana residents can vote between 8:30am and 6:00pm.
 

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