§90.3. Gambling by computer
A. The Legislature of Louisiana, desiring to protect individual rights, while at the same time affording opportunity for the fullest development of the individual and promoting the health, safety, education, and welfare of the people, including the children of this state who are our most precious and valuable resource, finds that the state has a compelling interest in protecting its citizens and children from certain activities and influences which can result in irreparable harm. 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.
B. 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.
C. For purposes of this Section the following definitions apply:
(1) "Client" means anyone using a computer to access a computer server.
(2) "Computer" includes an electronic, magnetic, optical, or other high-speed data processing device or system performing logical, arithmetic, and storage functions, and includes any property, data storage facility, or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device or system. "Computer" shall not include an automated typewriter or typesetter, a machine designed solely for word processing, or a portable hand-held calculator, nor shall "computer" include any other device which might contain components similar to those in computers but in which the components have the sole function of controlling the device for the single purpose for which the device is intended.
(3) "Computer network" means a set of related, remotely connected devices and communication facilities including at least one computer system with capability to transmit data through communication facilities.
(4) "Computer services" means providing access to or service or data from a computer, a computer system, or a computer network.
(5) "Computer software" means a set of computer programs, procedures, and associated documentation concerned with operation of a computer system.
(6) "Computer system" means a set of functionally related, connected or unconnected, computer equipment, devices, or computer software.
(7) "Home Page" means the index or location for each computer site on the World Wide Web.
(8) "Internet" means the global information system that is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol or its subsequent extensions, is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol suite or its subsequent extensions, and other Internet Protocol compatible protocols, and provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.
(9) "Server" means a computer that listens for and services a client.
(10) "World Wide Web" means a server providing connections to mega lists of information on the Internet; it is made up of millions of individual web sites linked together.
D. Whoever commits the crime of gambling by computer shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
E. 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 twenty thousand dollars, or imprisoned with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both.
F. 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 under the provisions of Chapters 4 and 11 of Title 4, Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 of Title 27, or Subtitle XI of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, 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.
G. The conducting or assisting in the conducting of pari-mutuel wagering at licensed racing facilities under the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 4 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, 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.
H. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit, limit, or otherwise restrict the purchase, sale, exchange, or other transaction related to stocks, bonds, futures, options, commodities, or other similar instruments or transactions occurring on a stock or commodities exchange, brokerage house, or similar entity.
I. The providing of Internet or other on-line access, transmission, routing, storage, or other communication related services, or Web Site design, development, storage, maintenance, billing, advertising, hypertext linking, transaction processing, or other site related services, by telephone companies, Internet Service Providers, 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 for the purposes of this Section. The provisions of this Subsection 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.
Acts 1997, No. 1467, §1; Acts 2010, No. 518, §1.