Louisiana Sports Betting Legislation Takes Step Forward

Louisiana Sports Betting Legislation Takes Step Forward
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With exactly three weeks until the state Senate adjourns on June 10, Louisiana on Thursday finally got a piece of sports betting legislation through to its next step.

HB 697, a tax bill sponsored by Rep. John Stefanski with 13 co-authors, authorizes the Louisiana Lottery to conduct sports wagering and levies a tax on sports gaming wagering.

During its session on Thursday, the Senate read the bill by title, passed it by a vote of 32-4 and ordered it returned to the House, with a motion to reconsider tabled.

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SB 142, sponsored by Sen. Rick Ward III, provides for the disposition of funds generated by sports wagering. It was scheduled to be taken up during Thursday’s session but was not called. The bill is still subject to call for state Senate final passage, which could happen during its next session on May 24.

SB 247, which sets the regulation of sports wagering, was passed by the Senate Wednesday and moved to the House. The state will distribute 20 licenses among 15 current casinos and five racinos, with two skins per license.

Sports Betting Will Be Legal in 55 Parishes

In November 2020, 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted to approve Louisiana sports betting. The legislature must pass two bills, with one including language for regulation and licensing procedures and another setting the tax rate.

HB 697, having received two-thirds of the vote in the House on May 11, moved to the Senate. The process of passing the bill for sports betting in Louisiana began in early April.

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

Convenience stores are out of the picture 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 be a long 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’s getting close.