Fantasy Sports Restriction Bill Passes House Committee
The online fantasy sports regulatory bill leaves committee with an amendment that stipulates you can only play if you’re at card checking over-21 only establishments like video poker stops, bars, or casinos.
Video poker lobbyist Alton Ashy advocated for the amendment and says legalizing the activity without restrictions provides no benefits to Louisiana businesses.
“Locals who have big investments in this state should be allowed to participate in it. People who are sponsoring this bill are from out of state, they don’t even rent an office in the state of Louisiana.”
But fantasy sports advocates are sounding the alarm. Fairness for Fantasy Sports Louisiana spokesperson Ryan Berni says it subverts the intent of the 47 parishes that voted to authorize the activity.
“This is obviously not what people voted for, this is not how fantasy sports works, this is not how online entertainment works anywhere, for any medium.”
But Ashy says as it stands local business won’t only be missing out on the economic benefits of legalization, the tax rate on online fantasy sports is so low as to be less than nothing, which is why the bill should be used to push more foot traffic into the high tax gaming houses.
“Right now the proposed tax rate does not cover the cost for the state to collect it. The state actually loses money at the proposed tax rate that they are proposing on fantasy sports.”
Berni says the requirements are so unfeasible that it raises questions as to whether the amendment is just a bad faith effort to kill the activity, or cripple it in favor of local gaming.
“Obviously the intention is that it is places that have video poker. It really is an end around and a subversion of what people know and like about fantasy sports.”
The legislation will be discussed on the House floor Tuesday.