Louisiana lawmakers OK fantasy sports betting regulations

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers agreed Wednesday to regulations governing fantasy sports betting in the 47 parishes that approved it two years ago, setting in motion the process for approving operators so the competitions for online cash prizes can begin.

The rules devised by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and the attorney general’s gaming division won unanimous backing from the House and Senate committees that oversee gambling laws.

In fantasy sports, people create imaginary teams of real-life sports players and score points based on how those players perform in actual games. Websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel charge an entry fee and offer payouts to winners.

Voters in nearly three-quarters of Louisiana’s 64 parishes agreed in the November 2018 election to legalize fantasy sports betting. Lawmakers have since set the tax rates and the regulatory process governing the activity. The more detailed rules were set with Wednesday’s vote.

Among the many regulations, operators of fantasy sports contests have to be licensed by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Participants in the competitions have to be at least 21 years old. And the imaginary teams can’t involve participants in high school or youth sports events.

There are extensive audit and reporting requirements. Players will have to register to participate in the betting.

Though the games only will be permitted in parishes where voters authorized it, anybody will be able to log into the online sites if they travel to those parishes.

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