May 8th, 2010

Louisiana Must Classify Fantasy as “Gaming”

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

We passed along earlier this week the story of a Louisiana man seeking legislative change after state law denied him a prize T-shirt.’s version clarifies the issue a bit.

Apparently it’s illegal for a Louisiana resident to claim a prize from a national fantasy competition because fantasy sports aren’t designated as “gaming” under the state’s constitution. “Gaming” is legal in Louisiana, and activities that carry such a designation include betting on horse races, buying lottery tickets and playing casino games. “Gambling,” on the other hand, is illegal in New Orleans.

“It has never been changed,” state Rep. Thomas Carmody said. “When we permitted gaming, there was not the Internet as we know it today. Therefore, technology has changed. Our constitution strictly prohibits gambling. Unless it’s restyled and codified as gaming, it’s not permitted to be legal.”

Carmody and the affected player from the story, David Winkler, are seeking to classify fantasy sports as “gaming” with House Bill 316, which would allow residents to receive prizes from national fantasy contests. Considering the activities already sheltered under the “gaming” umbrella and the fact that the federal government says fantasy sports aren’t gambling, one would think this should be an easy fix.

Then again, is anything ever easy when it comes to government?