DraftKings Gets Louisiana DFS License, Is Set To Go Live

DraftKings Gets Louisiana DFS License, Is Set To Go Live
© USA Today

DraftKings will be the first Daily Fantasy Sports operator to launch in Louisiana.

The gaming company announced Thursday that it received a DFS license from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. DraftKings DFS could soon be live in approved parishes in Louisiana, according to The Advocate.

It’s not known when rival FanDuel DFS will be licensed and able to launch.

Voters in 47 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved DFS in November 2018. The six largest parishes by population — East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, Caddo, St. Tammany and Lafayette — voted in favor of DFS.

RELATED: Louisiana state Sen. Barrow Peacock Q&A on DFS sports betting

Now that DFS is launching, when will Louisiana sports betting follow? It was approved by 55 of 64 parishes in November and many hope sports betting can go live faster than DFS, possibly in time for NFL betting.

DFS Signed Into Law June 2020

in June 2020, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill establishing an 8% tax rate for online Daily Fantasy Sports betting, clearing one of the final hurdles, but it has still taken more than another year to have the market go live.

With the launch, Louisiana will become the 44th state to offer DraftKings daily fantasy sports, which has dozens of sports from NFL, MLB and NBA to Australian Football and various eSports, according to a news release.

“As DraftKings continues our nationwide expansion, we welcome Louisiana to the DraftKings family, an area rich with culture, heritage, and die-hard fanbases in both professional and college sports,” Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America, said in the release. “The Bayou will now have access to our world-leading Daily Fantasy Sports product as we ramp up toward the kickoff of football season.”

New customers in Louisiana who place a minimum $5 first deposit will receive a free credit to play in a $3 paid contest of their choice, the release said.

Innovations for Louisiana DFS Players

For individuals located in approved parishes, DraftKings said it has introduced some innovations to optimize the customer experience for all skill levels, including:

  • Establishing the Fair Play Commitment Initiative to ensure a level playing field by prohibiting top-earning or more experienced players from entering casual and beginner contests.
  • DraftKings Leagues — the first platform where players can create fully-customizable, private contests just for their friends or colleagues.

Other ‘Enhanced Game Variants’

There will also be new and enhanced game variants from DraftKings, the release said:

  • Showdown contests require players to draft a team from a game, round or match while staying under the salary cap. Showdown is popular for marquee events like the Super Bowl and World Series. For NFL and NBA games, DraftKings also has In-Game Showdown for players to build lineups for a portion of the game after it has begun.
  • Classic contests require players to draft a team across multiple games by selecting players by position listed in the available player pool while remaining under the designated salary cap. Classic is popular for fans during regular-season games.

What About Louisiana Sports Betting

Less than a month ago, Edwards signed the final two bills of sports betting legislation into law: SB 247, the state’s regulatory sports betting legislation, and SB 142, which provides for the distribution of funds generated by sports wagering.

Because of the overwhelming approval of sports betting in November by voters, lawmakers and the state gaming control board have pushed for a sports betting launch this fall. Capitalizing on the huge popularity of the New Orleans Saints would be a big boost to the state and to online sports betting.

Although a key lawmaker recently said the launch could be delayed without a gambling regulatory chief in place, a member of the state attorney general’s office told a conference of legislators that the gaming board is working on the rules, according to published reports.