Louisiana House Approves Sports Betting Bill

Louisiana State Seal With a Casino and Historic Background

Sports bettors in Louisiana are one step closer to start wagering on sports event if Gov. John Bel Edwards approves the second of two bills that are about to clear the state legislature.

Senate Bill 247 passed the Louisiana House by a vote of 78 to 15 on Thursday night. However, the bill, which sets up the protocols and oversight for Louisiana sports betting, has been sent back to the Senate for last-minute amendments by its Senate sponsors. It will need to return to the Upper chamber to concur with the changes.

The other bill, House Bill 697, which sets up the taxes and fees for Louisiana sports betting, already passed last week and is already on the desk of Gov. Edwards for his signature.

Approved by Two-Thirds of Voters

Voters in 55 out of the state’s total 64 parishes, with nearly two-thirds of the voters statewide approving, chose to participate. But before Louisiana residents can actually place a sports bet in the state, legislators need to pass a law that will set up how things will be done. That’s what SB 247 and HB 697 are here for.

Under the two bills, bettors can place a wager on sporting events on their smart phones, in casinos, or at kiosks in bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic drinks. Should the Governor sign both bills, which is expected, the Gaming Control Board must come up with the rules and regulations and start accepting applications for Louisiana sports betting licenses.

20 Licenses to Be Issued

A total of 20 licenses will be issued, 15 to the casinos and the other 5 to the existing racinos in the state. Each license is allowed to have two skins. Convenience stores won’t be allowed to put up a sports betting kiosk however, retail establishments with a Class A license where alcohol can be sold, can apply for a Louisiana sports betting license.

Local retail establishments which will put up a retail sports betting outlet will be levied a tax rate of 10% on gross revenues. Meanwhile, operators who wish to put up mobile platforms will be charged a 15% tax on their gross revenues.