A Louisiana bill that would legalize daily fantasy sports has met with opposition that threatens the bill’s future, at least for this legislative session.
The bill from Rep. Joseph Lopinto — HB 475 — seeks to create a carveout in state law that differentiates playing fantasy sports from gambling. Legal Sports Report has learned that the Louisiana Family Forum and some brick-and-mortar gaming interests in the state have come out in opposition to the legislation.
After relatively smooth sailing previously — it made it out of the state house with minimal opposition — the problems apparently began when the bill made its way to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On its initial hearing date, on May 19, the bill was “voluntarily deferred” by LoPinto, a way of keeping the bill alive without bringing it in front of committee and a potential up-or-down vote. Back in April, LoPinto told the Times-Picayune that he believed the bill would move through the legislature without a problem. The bill likely would have faced a committee hearing if LoPinto or fantasy lobbying interests believed it could pass a vote.
Gene Mills, president of the Family Forum, has said he has been told the committee will not hear the measure. But the bill is not officially dead yet, and it could still be heard in committee on Tuesday, June 2. That appears to be the last chance the bill would have of making it out of committee before the state legislature adjourns on June 11.