Senate Approves Louisiana Sports Betting Bill
The Louisiana Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure that would allow legal sports betting in the state in time for the start of the American football season.
Senators approved Senate Bill 247 via a 31-6 vote on Wednesday, sending the Louisiana sports betting bill to the House for consideration.
The 40-page bill, which was sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez, was extensively rewritten after months of negotiation. Senators amended the Louisiana sports betting bill to allow temporary licenses while the state’s casinos build out a section for sports wagering in order to be ready for the upcoming football season.
20 Licenses to Be Handed Out
Cortez’s bill calls for 20 sports betting licenses which can be acquired by casinos, racetracks, riverboats, and Harrah’s in New Orleans. The initial application fee was pegged at $250,000 while the license will cost $500,00 for a term of five years. The Louisiana Lottery will be entitled to one license but will have to operate via a contracted service provider. The Lottery would also handle kiosks that are located inside restaurants and bars.
Licensees would have to apply before January 2022 and submit a suitability analysis. Meanwhile, the casinos would have to agree on building a separate designated area for sports betting. Each license would be allowed two skins with the second skin to handle online and mobile sports betting. The betting apps to be used are required to have a software that will identify who is exactly placing the sports bet.
54 out 64 Parishes Gave Their Approval
Last fall, voters from 54 out of the state’s 64 parishes approved a proposition allowing residents in those parishes to make sports bets. Geofencing software will be used to ensure that no sports wagers will be made from any one the nine parishes that opted out of the November vote.
Since then, bettors have been asking lawmakers when Louisiana sports betting would commence. But legislators still needed to establish the framework of Louisiana sports betting, including the rules, regulations, and the overseeing body. That’s when SB 247 was born and after months of negotiation, it has been re-written and now moving forward to the House.