By Staff, Baptist Message
During the 2018 regular session of the state legislature, lawmakers passed House Bill 484, allowing Internet gambling on fantasy sports.
Participants will pay to create a virtual sports team based on actual players in sports leagues.
Wins and losses will be based on the players selected and how each athlete performs week-to-week on their real teams, thereby accruing points for the fantasy team.
Although, signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards as Act 322, Louisiana’s Constitution requires a statewide vote, which will be held Nov. 6.
Approval or defeat will be parish-by-parish, meaning some parts of the state might allow fantasy sports and others prohibit it.
The Louisiana Baptist Convention is urging church members to aggressively campaign to vote “NO” on fantasy sports.
“This type of gambling is insidious because it specifically targets children,” said Will Hall, director of Louisiana Baptists’ Office of Public Policy. “Gambling industry claims that children can be excluded by technology ring hollow.”
“Already, children in the state are circumventing ‘systems’ designed to keep them out of gambling,” Hall said. “The Picard Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette found 40.6 percent of sixth graders, 44.1 percent of eighth graders, 40.8 percent of 10th graders and 34.4 percent of 12th graders gambled in 2016 (the latest research on the subject).”
“On top of that, Louisiana has been declared to have the fourth highest incidence of problem gambling in the country” Hall added. “We have 179,000 problem gamblers and 96,000 pathological gamblers in the state, already.”
“Pastors, please urge church members to vote ‘NO’ on fantasy sports, and actively work in your respective parishes to defeat this measure.”