Louisiana was one of six states that voted on gambling issues in the recent midterm elections. In the case of the Pelican State, voters were asked to decide whether or not to allow Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Louisiana voters chose to allow DFS, but only in counties where a majority were in favor. Out of the 64 parishes in the state, 47 chose to welcome Daily Fantasy Sports, including the core counties of Lafayette, Baton Rouge, St Charles, St Tammany and New Orleans.
Much of the lobbying in favor of legal DFS in Louisiana came from FanDuel and DraftKings, who together spent over $1 million pushing the issue under the banner of their Fairness for Fantasy Sports in Louisiana campaign efforts. The money was spent mainly on TV and radio advertising, as well as direct mail to voters.
DFS won’t come immediately to Louisiana, and the state is not expected to see any changes until it manages to hammer out issues such as taxation and regulation. Industry analysts predict that Louisianans won’t be enjoying legal DFS until late next year. Other challenges ahead include keeping DFS websites out of bounds for residents in parishes that voted no.
Political consultant hired by the two DFS companies, Ryan Berni said that adults should be allowed to spend their own money as they see fit, including on fantasy sports, setting their own budgets and accepting responsibility for their actions – whether they win or lose.
“A model for effective regulation has been vetted and proven in other states,” said Berni. “Given the wide support for this measure, we are hopeful the legislature will move quickly next session so sports fans can start playing games they will love.”
The chairman of the Louisiana Control Board, Ronnie James spoke to the media after the yes vote and said: “Virtually every metro area voted in favor. Those parishes represent about 92% of the state’s population and I think that number likely bodes well for any sports betting bill.”