The Louisiana Senate voted 33-3 on Thursday to approve the bill containing the rules that will govern sports betting in the 55 Louisiana parishes that agreed to legalize sports wagering.
Gov. John Edwards (D) is expected to sign the measure into a law, which will pave the way for the launch of Louisiana sports betting this fall.
Voters in 55 out of the 64 parishes in Louisiana gave their approval for the legalization of wagering on live sports games. But lawmakers still had to formulate the rules and tax rates before sports gambling can launch. The House had earlier voted 78-15 in favor of the legislation before its approval in the Senate on Thursday.
State to Issue 20 Louisiana Sports Betting Licenses
Under SB 247, the state will issue 20 Louisiana sports betting licenses and allow the Louisiana Lottery to employ one outside firm to run one additional sports betting operation.
Louisiana’s exiting 16 casinos and four race tracks with slot machines will be given priority to acquire the allotted sports betting licenses.
If they are not interested and the licenses are not fully taken by January 1st, video poker outlets and fantasy sports betting operators in parishes where Louisiana sports betting is legal will get a chance to apply for the remaining licenses.
The Louisiana Lottery will oversee the sports betting kiosks found in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. There is no limit as to the number of bar and restaurants that will be allowed to conduct on-site sports betting.
Key Features of Louisiana Sports Betting
Those who wish to place sports bets, whether on site or online, must be at least 21 years old. That bettor must first set up an account with a Louisiana sports betting operator.
Persons from parishes that voted against the legalization of Louisiana sports betting can place wagers if they do so in parishes that approved legal sports wagering.
The state will tax Louisiana sports betting operators at 10% of net gaming proceeds for onsite sports betting operators and 15% for bets made via mobile apps and other electronic devices.
25% of the state’s revenue ( up to $20M) will be allotted to early learning program for children while the rest will be divided between the horse racing industry, local government, other programs, and the general state Treasury.