Louisiana lawmakers are now considering online gambling among other gaming legislation.
It seems every few weeks, a new state decides to consider online gambling legislation. Since 2013, four states in the US have enacted legislation that allows for online gambling to take place within their borders. The first to do so was Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, followed by Pennsylvania in late 2017. Since Pennsylvania made the jump, other states seem more serious in their considerations with online poker and casino gaming. The most recent state to propose legislation on the matter is Louisiana.
New Online Gambling Bill Introduced
Senator Daniel Martiny has introduced a new bill in Louisiana that would legalize online gambling, including casino and poker games. The state has also been working on passing legislation to see sports betting and daily fantasy sports legalized within their borders.
The new bill, S 322, is different from gambling legislation that has been introduced in other states. In Louisiana, new gaming options have to pass via a referendum vote. With the new bill, each parish of the state will have to decide if they want to place a referendum on the ballot this November, asking voters if their parish should be allowed to offer online gambling. A majority vote would have to take place to see the activity come to life.
The legislation would see online gambling come to life in 2020, if the legislation were to pass and all aspects fall in line accordingly. The bill places the act in effect for January 1st of that year. This will provide plenty of time to see the referendums take place and setup complete, if approved.
What the Bill Indicates
The bill is simply a way of the state saying that they want to get started with online gambling for real money. The bill does include several factors that have to be considered, but also leaves out important information. In the bill, it says that patrons who take part in online gambling will have to be 21 years of age or older to take part. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board would be in charge or regulation along with the gaming division of the office of state police. These two will work together to implement as well as administer and regulate online gaming for the state. Licensing would be restricted to the land-based gaming venues as well as the riverboat casinos.
The bill does provide the above information but does not include info on licensing fee prices or tax rates. This is important information that must be considered in order for online gaming to move forward. In the first three states that legalized online gaming, rates and licensing fees were in the low to mid-range, making it easy for operators to get started. In Pennsylvania, licensing fees are quite high as well as taxation.
Lawmakers will have to decide which way they want to go with fees paid for licensing as well as tax rates. The amounts set will determine who can afford to be involved. This information is important as it helps operations to get started and configures just how much the state will earn.
For now, the legislation is in the early stages. While efforts are just beginning, it is significant as it marks just one more state that is willing to give online gambling a look and hopefully pass legislation into law. We shall watch in the coming weeks and months to see if the legislation is able to progress and if/when the state will begin to offer online gaming options.