Louisiana DFS Launch Delayed Until Well Into NFL Season

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Any optimism that daily fantasy sports could launch in Louisiana by the start of the NFL season is now gone.

In fact, it now looks like DFS operators like FanDuel and DraftKings will miss more than half of the 2020 season in the Pelican State.

Louisiana is now on track to launch daily fantasy sports contests in November or December.  That’s according to a timeline provided by Rep. John Stefanski, who sponsored the legislation setting tax rates, H 64.

The timing could fluctuate based on how long certain steps in the process take.

“I was hopeful we would see fantasy sports go live in October, however I was just informed that the Gaming Control Board is taking longer than we expected,” Stefanski said. “The Gaming Control Board has oversight of all gambling and that includes fantasy sports. … We have been pressuring them to move as quickly as possible, but so far to no avail.”

Updated timeline for Louisiana DFS launch

A look at the timeline Stefanski presented suggests DFS contests could be live in the state by mid-November. Week 10 of the NFL season begins Nov. 12.

The August 2020 Louisiana Register includes the proposed DFS rules. Publishing those rules was originally expected in September, but Stefanski said they could be published in August “if all runs smoothly.”

That moves the timeline up by a month, meaning public comments are now due Sept. 10. The Legislative Oversight Committee also has 30 days to review and hold hearings on the rules. Either of those could lead to delays in the timeline.

The rules then need to be adopted by Louisiana’s gaming regulators and published as a final rule in the State Register. DFS contests will be legal to enter once those final rules are published.

Long wait made longer

Residents of Louisiana have been waiting for more than two years to legally enter DFS contests.

Voters in 47 out of 64 Louisiana parishes approved legalizing DFS contests in 2018.

Louisiana requires a separate taxation bill, though, and 2019’s attempt failed as it was lumped in with other gambling legislation, including sports betting. That delayed the process until Stefanski’s bill passed this year.