After Long Wait Louisiana Now Open for DFS License Applications
- More than 2 years after voter approval, businesses can now begin license application
- Restrictions will be in place for wagering involving 17 parishes not voting in favor of DFS
- Wagering launch expected in Spring with legislators focused upon sports wagering next
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After more than two years since voters in most Louisiana parishes approved daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, businesses can now finally begin applying for licenses to begin operating the games within the state.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board published its final regulations for the prize contests, and the State Police’s gaming commission opened the application process last Friday.
Under the guidelines, the approval process will take 60 to 90 days for each company, according to Maj. Chuck McNeal of the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division. Rules call for the applications to be submitted by mail. As of Monday afternoon, the department has yet to receive any applications.
Restrictions Will Be in Place for Wagering
Louisiana initially approved and legalized daily fantasy sports in 2018, however it took several years to work out all necessary regulations.
Part of the process for the businesses involving DFS will be to create virtual barriers around the 17 parishes that did not vote in favor of allowing fantasy gambling. Meaning the parishes that did not vote for daily fantasy wagering will NOT have access.
Commenting on the unusual arrangement McNeal said:
They’re going to be, for lack of a better word, geofencing along parish lines, whether it be the parishes who opted out are blocked out, or the parishes that opted in are blocked in.
The process is similar to geolocation fencing taking place in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and several other US states enforcing online gaming parameters, however, this could be more complex proving the software is effective along state and parish lines within Louisiana.
McNeal has confidence in the system adding this reinforcing opinion:
They’re going to have to demonstrate that to us, and then they’re going to have to go to one of the state-approved regulatory gaming labs and prove to them also that it is not allowed to be played in the parishes that opted out. We will also be periodically monitoring that and make sure it is operating the way it is supposed to.
Louisiana DFS Rules and Potential Timetable
The fantasy sports contests will be limited to participants above 21 years of age or older only. The state’s take from an 8 percent tax on the net gambling revenue proceeds will be used to help fund early childhood education.
Fantasy sports contests charge users will get charged an entry fee to create a virtual roster of real athletes with a goal and purpose they record better individual statistics than other entrants’ rosters for a chance of offering a payout.
Voters in 47 of the 64 Louisiana parishes approved betting on fantasy sports in late 2018. Legislators and regulators then had to create DFS rules and the tax level before the Louisiana State Police could invite operators to apply.
Mike Noel, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, predicts that it could be late spring before fantasy sports betting sites will be operational. Asked about when operators could begin a business in the state, he said:
Once the state police begin receiving applications, It’s probably a couple of months at least because to go through the applications, there’s a number of technical requirements that have to be met. I anticipate that will take a few months.
Upon settling all DFS issues, legislators in Louisiana next plan to focus upon regulations for sports wagering in the state.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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