A bill to legalize online gambling in Louisiana has failed to move forward, while sports betting is still being considered.
Since the beginning of the year, several states in the US have been considering online gambling legislation as well as sports betting. Both are hot topics of debate and can be a way to bring in much-needed funds to individual states. Louisiana lawmakers have been considering legalizing online gambling like casino and poker games, along with sports betting. Just this week, both options were considered, with online gambling failing to move forward while sports betting is still being considered.
No to Online Gaming
The Senate Committee on Judiciary of Louisiana met on Tuesday to discuss proposals related to expanding gaming in the state. One bill was able to advance involving sports betting while another centered on online casino gaming failed. On the online casino front, lawmakers decided that more work must be done before the option can be allowed in the state.
Senator Danny Martiny introduced the online gaming bill, a representative of the district located just outside New Orleans, a major entertainment area of the state. He also penned the sports betting bill for the state and has said that both were created to help with the finances of Louisiana. According to the Senator, the state is broke, and no one has any idea as to how to provide the funds that are needed.
Video Gaming Operators Opposed
S 322 is the bill involving online gaming that was unable to move forward. Operators of video gaming machines are opposed to the idea. The Louisiana Video Gaming Association have been the driving force behind opposition to the measure. The group has machines offering video poker in restaurants, bars, truck stops and gas stations throughout the state. The machines bring in over $320 million each year in revenues for Louisiana.
The group feels that if online gambling were allowed, it would devastate the video poker industry because people would opt to stay home rather than play the games they offer. While this could happen, there is still differences in the two so there is hope that both would be able to contribute funds accordingly.
It has been recommended that more investigation is given to the online gaming industry as well as how the video poker games will be affected. Senator Gary Smith is the chair of the committee who recommended that Senator Martiny create a task force to learn more.
In attempt to shed more light on the subject, Thomas Winter, the individual over the online gaming operations of the Golden Nugget of New Jersey, appeared at the hearing. Winter provided insight into the operations of the venue in Atlantic City when it comes to online gaming. The online gaming operator is a major contributor to revenues in NJ, bringing in as much as $7 to $8 million a month.
The Golden Nugget has stake in Louisiana as well. They operate a casino in St. Charles and would be able to offer online casino gaming if the option become available in the state. Lawmakers were able to gain insight from Winter, but it must not have been enough to see the legislation move forward.
For now, Senator Martiny will need to do a great deal of convincing in order to find backing for online casino and poker gaming. Perhaps as sports betting moves forward, lawmakers will give the online gaming subject a second look. Only time will tell if the iGaming industry will come to fruition in Louisiana.