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Gambling By Computer — 14:90.3
The legislature has expressed its intent to develop a controlled well-regulated gaming industry. The legislature is also charged with the responsibility of protecting and assisting its citizens who suffer from compulsive or problem gaming behavior which can result from the increased availability of legalized gaming activities. The legislature recognizes the development of the Internet and the information super highway allowing communication and exchange of information from all parts of the world and freely encourages this exchange of information and ideas. The legislature recognizes and encourages the beneficial effects computers, computer programming, and use of the Internet resources have had on the children of the state of Louisiana by expanding their educational horizons. The legislature further recognizes that it has an obligation and responsibility to protect its citizens, and in particular its youngest citizens, from the pervasive nature of gambling which can occur via the Internet and the use of computers connected to the Internet. Gambling has long been recognized as a crime in the state of Louisiana and despite the enactment of many legalized gaming activities remains a crime. Gambling which occurs via the Internet embodies the very activity that the legislature seeks to prevent. The legislature further recognizes that the state’s constitution and that of the United States are declarations of rights which the drafters intended to withstand time and address the wrongs and injustices which arise in future years. The legislature hereby finds and declares that it has balanced its interest in protecting the citizens of this state with the protection afforded by the First Amendment, and the mandates of Article XII, Section 6 of the Constitution of Louisiana and that this Section is a product thereof.
Gambling by computer is the intentional conducting, or directly assisting in the conducting as a business of any game, contest, lottery, or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit when accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof by way of any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, or any server.
Whoever commits the crime of gambling by computer shall be fined not more than $500.00 hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.
Whoever designs, develops, manages, supervises, maintains, provides, or produces any computer services, computer system, computer network, computer software, or any server providing a Home Page, Web Site, or any other product accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof offering to any client for the primary purpose of the conducting as a business of any game, contest, lottery, or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit shall be fined not more than $20,000, or imprisoned with or without hard labor, for not more than 5 years, or both.
The conducting or assisting in the conducting of gaming activities or operations upon a riverboat, at the official gaming establishment, by operating an electronic video draw poker device, by a charitable gaming licensee, or at a pari-mutuel wagering facility, conducting slot machine gaming at an eligible horse racing facility, or the operation of a state lottery which is licensed for operation and regulated shall not be considered gambling by computer for the purposes of this Section, so long as the wagering is done on the premises of the licensed establishment.
The providing of Internet or other on-line access, software developers, licensors, or other such parties providing such services to customers in the normal course of their business, shall not be considered gambling by computer even though the activities of such customers using such services to conduct a prohibited game, contest, lottery, or contrivance may constitute gambling by computer. The provision shall not exempt from criminal prosecution any telephone company, Internet Service Provider, software developer, licensor, or other such party if its primary purpose in providing such service is to conduct gambling as a business.