NEW ORLEANS — Football season is back and for some it's more than just a game. Some fans try to win some money off sports games, but in Louisiana, sports betting is still not legal. Meanwhile, Mississippi just reached its one year mark of legal sports betting.
There's a lot of sports talk right now among group of friends, especially groups who get together for Fantasy Football drafts.
"We play for a little bit of money not a lot but keep it interesting and keep everybody involved," said Matthew Perkins ahead of his fantasy draft.
In Louisiana, they'll have to keep their betting between friends to keep it legal, since online sports betting through websites like DraftKings is illegal.
"The people who want to bet are betting anyway, we're just not reaping any benefits," said state Sen. Danny Martiny, who tried to legalize fantasy sports betting this year. "It exists, it's an industry in and of itself, it's just not regulated and we don't tax it."
The legalization of real sports betting was also on the table; neither passed, however. In contrast, in Mississippi sports betting has been legal for a year.
"I have friends that travel to Florida, Mississippi so they can do sports betting," said Bobby Gatewood ahead of his fantasy draft.
"Not only are we not going to make money off it, we're going to lose money because people are going to go to the Mississippi gulf coast," Martiny said.
Martiny estimates Louisiana would make millions of dollars a year off sports betting, but opponents believe expanding gambling would harm families and worsen addiction problems.
"They want to chase a win as opposed to just have a little fun," Perkins said about people with a gambling problem.
Unless a special session is held next year, it'll be at least another two years until sports betting can be considered again in the state.