Bill allowing for legalized fantasy sports advances at Louisiana capitol

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Louisiana House committee advanced a bill Wednesday that could pave the way for legalized fantasy sports gambling in Louisiana.

Sponsored by Rep. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, the bill would open it up to a vote of the people. Voters in each parish would get to decide whether or not to legalize the practice in their area.

Talbot said the bill would apply to programs like Draft Kings and Fan Duel - essentially websites where you have to pay to participate.

The bill's advancement bucks an ongoing trend at the capitol, where lawmakers have routinely killed bills considered to be an expansion of gambling.

Talbot argued it was a game of skill: "It's almost like betting on the stock market, where you're looking at different stocks and trying to see which one yield the most potential and reward."

However, conservative groups including the Louisiana Family Forum argued the bill would put people at risk of addiction.

"This is not kids playing Grand Theft Auto or Minecraft or whatever other video games. This is aimed at addictive behavior where youth would be involved," said Kathleen Benfield.

The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

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