As Louisiana’s lawmakers ponder how they’re going to spend their post-session time off, trying to get anything done in the waning days of the current session is becoming more of a chore. However, the state’s decision-makers still pushed forward, considering several measures that include among them a bill on daily fantasy sports (DFS). However, as some lawmakers tried to add sports gambling amendments to the bill, things became more complicated and Louisiana wasn’t able to find a proper solution before its legislation shut down for the season.
Both the House and the Senate dedicated time to the subject, assigning committee members this past Wednesday to hash out differences on a DFS bill, House Bill 459 (HB 459). The legislation was designed to tackle the issue of fantasy sports, but picked up a few riders along the way that included language related to sports gambling. This was a last-ditch effort to introduce sports gambling to the state after a separate sports gambling bill was defeated last month.
The Louisiana House scoffed at the Senate’s attempts to include sports gambling, shutting the bill down 97-0. That led to the requirement of a conference committee to try and resolve the issues; however, there was little chance of that ever happening – the committee was set up Wednesday and the legislative session ended yesterday.
As the last minutes ticked away on the clock toward 6 PM local time yesterday, no forward progress had been made on the legislation. When the ending bell rang and the lawmakers picked up their coats and briefcases and headed for the door, it was official – DFS and sports gambling are to be tabled until the next session.
Last November, 47 parishes in the state approved legalized DFS. The next step was to have lawmakers draft the legislation to oversee the industry. Now, however, lawmakers “look like fools,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Representative Kirk Talbot.
Senator Danny Martiny, who was behind the attempt to add sports gambling to the bill, chimed in on the failure to reach an agreement, as well. He asserted, “Unfortunately, there’s another side of this building that doesn’t play by the rules. I don’t like the way I was treated.” Martiny is now out of the state’s legislative body due to term limitations, unable to complete his mission to see sports gambling come to the state.