Louisiana Governor Signs Daily Fantasy Sports Tax Bill

  • House Bill 64 imposes an 8% tax rate on daily fantasy sports net revenue
  • Tax funds will be going to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund
  • Governor John Bel Edwards previously signed a bill creating DFS rules and regulations
Person in suit signing a document
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a daily fantasy sports tax bill into law, paving the way for the state’s DFS industry to launch by the fall. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Final approval

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a daily fantasy sports tax bill into law on July 13 during a special legislative session. 

about $375,000 in annual tax revenue

House Bill 64 imposes an 8% monthly tax on daily fantasy sports (DFS) net revenue, with the proceeds going to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. Net revenue is the total entry fees paid to the operator by fantasy sports contest participants minus any winnings paid out. The hope is that about $375,000 in annual tax revenue will be generated from the state’s DFS industry.

A special fiscal session was called because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, giving enough time for the fantasy sports measure to progress. A number of other bills also received approval from the governor this week as the government looks to help taxpayers and businesses recover from the pandemic. 

Road to legalization

Prior to the governor’s go-ahead, the House voted in favor of the tax bill on June 17 and the Senate approved it unanimously. It was signed more than 18 months after 47 of the 64 parishes in the state voted in favor of legalizing paid daily fantasy sports. Governor Edwards had already signed House Bill 357 in June that created the regulations for the fantasy sports sector. 

Operators will have to obtain a license from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and pay a $100,000 application fee. Players must be at least 21 years old to participate. Daily fantasy sports operators had been waiting for the rules and tax rate for the sector to be finalized before starting to look at launching in Louisiana.

Other gambling issues in Louisiana

As a follow-up to the legalization of daily fantasy sports games, the Louisiana parishes are set to vote on the issue of legalizing sports betting this coming November. Governor Edwards signed off on this measure on June 11 after the Senate and House approved Senate Bill 130 in May. 

The casinos in the state were among the first in the country to reopen, starting to welcome back guests on May 18.

A number of casinos have been forced to lay off workers because of the pandemic. Penn National is laying off 1,100 employees across four of its casinos in Louisiana, while Boyd Gaming is releasing over 1,500 staff members. A casino tax relief bill was passed in June to try to ease the strain on these companies in the state.