Fantasy Football Is Illegal In Louisiana If Stakes Are Involved
If you've been playing Fantasy Football with any sort of wager, then you've been breaking Louisiana law!
Louisiana is one of five states that has internet gambling laws strictly prohibiting fantasy sports that involve betting. The others states included are Arizona, Iowa, Montana or Washington.
The way the law is currently written, a person who breaks the law is subject to a $500 fine and six months in jail - the maximum penalty, according to the gambling statute.
State Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, was made aware of this about six months ago when a Louisiana resident brought it to his attention in an email. Somebody won a prize playing fantasy football on FanDuel, a popular online fantasy sports website. And the person who contacted Lopinto was upset to learn he couldn't receive his T-shirt for reasons related to Louisiana's outdated laws.
After Lopinto looked into, he saw that the law, passed in 1997 at the dawn of internet-legislation, created the crime of gambling by computer. This makes fantasy football, as we know it, illegal.
So, what if you don't BET online, and just throw some money in a pool with some friends or at the office? Lopinto says "that's probably illegal" too.
Lopinto has sponsored a House bill that makes an exception for "any fantasy or simulation sports game, educational game or contest."
The Louisiana legislation does list some requirements fantasy sports games must follow to be considered legal:
1) No team can be based on members of actual teams.
2) Prizes should be made known to participants beforehand, and their value can't be determined by the number of participants playing, or the amount of fees paid.
3) Winning outcomes must reflect "relative knowledge and skill" of the participants determined by the performance of individuals in "multiple real-world sporting or other events."
4) Outcomes can not be determined by a point-spread, by outcomes of any real-world team or by the single performance of an individual athlete.