Louisiana House Overwhelmingly Approves Sports Betting Bill

Louisiana House Overwhelmingly Approves Sports Betting Bill
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Louisiana’s regulatory sports betting legislation is heading back to the Senate, one week before it adjourns on June 10, before moving to the governor’s desk for signature.

The state’s House Chamber on Thursday voted 78-15 to approve SB 247, which sets sports wagering regulation. The bill was ordered back to the Senate and could be placed on Sunday’s session at 5 p.m. ET for final approval.

On May 19, the bill was passed by the Senate, 31-6, and moved to the House for today’s vote. If final approval is passed out of the Senate, the bill is then sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) for his signature before the end of the 2021 session next Thursday. Edwards has supported sports betting in the past, so his signature is almost a certainty.

How Licenses Will Be Distributed

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

On Wednesday, SB 142, sponsored by state senator Rick Ward III (R, District 17), which takes all money generated by sports wagering and distributes it passed in the state senate by a vote of 33-3 and has been passed onto the House, where it was received this afternoon and is awaiting House referral.

RELATED: More About Louisiana Sports Betting and Gambling

On May 20, HB 697 — 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 wagering, passed by a vote of 32-4. The bill, which was sent to Edwards’ desk on May 26, is awaiting his signature for approval.

Some of the changes that occurred earlier in the bill before it was moved: A 10% tax will be leveled on local retail establishments with a sports betting kiosk and a 15% tax levied on mobile platforms.

Sports Betting Will Be Legal in 55 Parishes

In November 2020, 55 parishes out of 64 voted to approve sports betting and the process of passing the Louisiana sports wagering bill began in early April.

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

Getting gambling legislation passed in Louisiana can sometimes be a slow process. Daily Fantasy Sports was approved by referendum in 2018 but regulations were not approved until December 2020. DFS still has not launched, but it should happen soon.

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