Gov. Edwards Signs Louisiana Sports Wagering Bill Into Law

Gov. Edwards Signs Louisiana Sports Wagering Bill Into Law
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The ink is dry in Louisiana.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the final two bills of sports betting legislation into law on Tuesday: SB 247 — the state’s regulatory sports betting legislation and SB 142, which provides for the distribution of funds generated by sports wagering.

“SB 247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB 142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education,” Senate President Page Cortez (R-District 23), who was the sponsor of SB 247, said in a statement.

Getting Ready For Football

Legislation will go into effect on Thursday, July 1 with the expectations that everything will be ready for the upcoming NFL season on Sept. 9.

Both bills were sent to the governor on June 10.

On that day, SB 247 amendments proposed by the House were read and concurred by a vote of 33-3, passing the Senate.

On June 3, the state’s House Chamber voted 78-15 to approve SB 247. On May 19, the Senate passed the bill 31-6, and moved it to the House for last week’s vote.

How Money Will Be Distributed

SB 142, which was sponsored by state Sen. Rick Ward III (R, District 17), will provide 60% of funds generated by sports wagering to a statewide general fund, 25% to early childhood programs, 12% to locals, 2% behavioral programs such treatment for gambling addiction and 1% to the state’s horsemen’s fund.

The state will distribute 20 licenses among 15 current casinos and five racinos, with two skins per license.

On June 7, Edwards signed into law a tax bill sponsored by Rep. John Stefanski with 13 co-authors and authorizes the Louisiana Lottery to conduct sports wagering and levies a tax on sports gaming. A 10% tax will be levied on local retail establishments with a sports betting kiosk and 15% on mobile platforms. That bill passed 32-4 on May 20.

“I am extremely excited for Louisiana on the signing of the final piece of the sports betting legislation," Stefanski said. "The citizens of Louisiana spoke last fall when they approved sports betting in 55 of the 64 parishes. Thankfully the legislature did its part and approved the legislation necessary to complete the process. I would like to personally thank Senate President Cortez on his leadership throughout this process. I join my fellow citizens in looking forward to sports betting as early as this fall.”

Sports Betting Will Be Legal in 55 Parishes

In November 2020, 55 of Louisiana’s 63 parishes voted to approve sports betting and the process of passing the Louisiana sports wagering legislation began in early April.

Retail establishments that have a Class A retail license, where alcohol can be sold, can apply to have a sports wagering kiosk, but convenience stores can't have them.

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