Legal Sports betting is on its way to Louisiana after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bills 247 and 142 on Tuesday.
With both bills signed, all elements are now in order for Louisiana’s casinos to apply for legal sports betting licenses, build their own retail sportsbooks, and line up their partners to handle online and mobile sports betting.
Earlier this month, the Governor already signed House Bill 697 which set up the taxes and fees for legal Louisiana sports betting.
Said Senate President Page Cortez:
“SB247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education.”
The only state in the Region With Online Option
Once launched, Louisiana will be the only state in the region to have an online and mobile sports betting option. Casinos in the bordering states of Arkansas and Mississippi allow only face-to-face sports bets made at retail sports betting shops. Meanwhile, Texas neither has casinos of legal sports betting.
The online option was added to the Louisiana legislation after Cortez noted before the legislative session began last April that sports betting would raise significant income if bets were allowed online or using mobile devices. The Senate President cited an AP report that 85% of the total sports bets placed nationwide during the first two months of the year were via mobile or online option.
Tax Rates are Set
Louisiana’s current gaming license holders, including riverboat casinos and racinos, will be required to pay a $250,000 fee to apply for a sports betting license plus another $500,000 after the approval of an initial five-year license.
Each of the present 20 gaming license holders in the state will be allowed two skins for mobile betting. Online sports betting will be levied a 15% tax on net revenue while bets placed at brick and mortar sportsbooks will be required to pay a 10% tax to the state.
Targeting the Football Season
With the Governor’s signature in place, legislators are targeting the start of the football season for the Louisiana sports betting launch. The National Football League’s preseason begins on August 5th and the regular season start on September 9th. Louisiana is the home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.
Aside from the Saints, Louisiana has other prominent sports teams like the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and the NCAA’s Louisiana State University which has popular programs in both basketball and football. It is also home to the New Orleans Gold of the National Rugby League.