LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On Nov. 6, the state of Louisiana will decide on whether to make fantasy sports contests legal or illegal. Popular sites like “Fan Duel” and “Draft Kings” currently cannot operate in certain states.
Del Prudhomme is an avid fantasy player and says the status of fantasy in the state is unfair.
“I think that we should be allowed to bet on fantasy football if we want to,” Prudhomme said, “I mean, we have the ability to go out and wager money at the casinos, so why not allow us to do it on fantasy football? We’re going to do it anyway.”
Ronnie Jones is a chairman on the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and says right now, the law on this topic is more of a gray area.
“The law is silent of fantasy sports. It doesn’t explicitly make it illegal right now in Louisiana, nor does the law say it’s legal,” Jones said.
That is why Jones says these sites are reluctant to conduct contests and send prizes in Louisiana, out of fear they will be cited for illegal gambling.
Prudhomme says it should be changed.
“Honest opinion: typical Louisiana,” Prudhomme said. “Get it defined clearly, be sure we all agree on it, and let us do it. That’s how I feel about it.”
On the contrary, there are those who disagree. Charmaine Anderson, a prevention specialist, says if this becomes legal, it could bring a gambling problem not only to adults, but kids as well.
“I mean, it’s the potential for them to get addicted no matter what,” Anderson said. “If they’re say 18 years old, I mean, you don’t have mom and dad over your shoulder necessarily watching you all the time. Even, sometimes, when they’re younger than that, they don’t have mom and dad watching over them all the time.”
Other residents say, that is the individuals choice.
“If they choose to bet on it, that’s their prerogative,” said Louisiana resident Jonathan Brazzell. “I voted yes for it just because I feel that it is up to the individual to do what they choose to do with their money—as long as they’re not harming an individual.”
Jones says he has heard the opinions of residents and says that is the beauty of voting.
“All this vote does is ask, parish by parish, which parishes want to permit it within their jurisdiction,” Jones said. “Everybody gets the chance to vote as to whether or not they will be able to do that in their parish come next week.”