NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Gambling may not be for everyone, but Joel Smith says Fantasy Football can make anyone a fan.
“Like my fiancé, she loves football just because of fantasy. I think it’s a great opportunity for one money to be made which is always a good thing especially during these hard times,” Smith said.
With the state legislature approving rules and regulations for fantasy sports betting and setting tax rates, it now clears the way for platforms like Fan Duel and Draft Kings to operate in Louisiana.
“It’s new. The complexities are because of the new technology,” said Michael Noel with the Gaming Control Board.
With 47 of 64 parishes voting to approve fantasy sports betting, while most in the metro area can, not all Louisianans can participate.
The Gaming Control board says bringing the technical aspects online will be the biggest challenge ahead of them by using tools like geofencing to verify participants’ age and location.
“So when you participate in a fantasy sports contest you have to be within one of those voted in parishes and so the technology also confirms your physical location at the time, so those are the pieces that we’ll be working through over the coming months,” Noel said.
“Fantasy sports, the average wager that someone spends here is less than $200 so it’s not a big money,” said Sen. Kirk Talbot.
Louisiana will collect an 8-percent tax on fantasy sports betting to go towards early childhood education.
Senator Talbot says it’s estimated to collect less than 5 million dollars for the state but will make Louisiana more competitive with surrounding states.
With fantasy betting only a piece of the pie, he says the big debate will be on sports betting slated for the spring session.
“That is going to be a huge piece of legislation. It’s going to suck a lot of air in through them and that has a possibility to be very contentious, you have a lot of people who want in on this,” Talbot said.
Gamblers and non-gamblers alike agree if fantasy sports betting brings money back to the state, it sounds like a good bet.
The timeline has leaders hoping fans can cast their fantasy bets for the start of fall’s football season.
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