Positive Senate vote follows House approval, but a referendum will be required in terms of the state constitution.
Members of the Louisiana Senate voted 21-15 this week to exempt fantasy sports from the definition of gambling, ratifying House Bill 484 which passed the House last month on a 67-23 vote.
The approved bill now goes to the governor for signature, although the voters in each of the state’s 64 parishes will have the final say regarding DFS action in their parish in terms of the state constitution, which requires their approval via a referendum.
A last-minute amendment to the Senate debate inserting a sports wagering legalisation clause was withdrawn by the proposer.
The Louisiana bill, titled Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Act, removes the state-level prohibition against DFS contests and imposes oversight by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, which will have to draft regulations in the event that parish votes are positive later this year (usually early November).
Other gambling bills have been less successful in the state legislature; two sports betting bills and a proposal to legalise online gambling have reportedly stalled and are unlikely to progress in the current season.