DraftKings gains DFS approval in Bayou State

Boston-headquartered sports betting company DraftKings Inc. (Nasdaq: DKNG) will soon take its daily fantasy sports contests live in nearly 50 parishes in Louisiana after securing a DFS license from the state’s gambling regulators.

Following the July 15, 2021 (pdf) unanimous approval by the 8-member Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the digital sports entertainment and gaming firm said it would “soon be live” in 47 parishes where in November 2018 voters agreed to legalize fantasy sports betting featuring entry fees and prizes. The launch will see the Bayou State become the 44th U.S. state to offer the DFS product.

2021 football season:

In a Thursday statement after the decision was made by the gambling board, Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America, said…

“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. The Bayou will now have access to our world-leading Daily Fantasy Sports product as we ramp up toward the kickoff of football season.”

Application submitted:

The licensing request was submitted back in February, just a short time after the application period was opened by the gambling board. As part of the process, DraftKings was subject to a background investigation and financial review, which was conducted by Louisiana State Police gaming investigators in order to ensure the company was in compliance with state regulations.

The agency was reportedly told by the Massachusetts-based firm that during its first year of operations it expects to generate net revenue of $15.5 million, nearly $1.3 million of which would be tax revenue for the state.

Louisiana residents who choose to participate in the state‘s fantasy sports contests will need to be aged 21 years or older while the competitions will only be allowed in those parishes where the activity was authorized by voters. However, access to the online sites will be available to anyone who is physically in one of the 47 parishes, including all of metro New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted separately on the Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Parish Measures in the November 6, 2018 elections, with nearly three-quarters of them concurring. House Bill 484 (HB 484) provided for the parish ballot measures, while it’s up to the Gaming Control Board to determine which individual operators get licenses.

Industry standouts:

DraftKings, along with Flutter Entertainment (OTC: PDYPY)-owned FanDuel, currently dominate the DFS industry, reportedly accounting for over 90 percent of the market share. The former was launched in 2012 and will likely be joined by its main competitor, having earlier this year reportedly submitting its own application to the gaming board with hopes of entering Louisiana in time for the start of the 2021 NFL season scheduled to kick off on September 9th.

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