Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Sports Betting Rules

Lousiana State Seal With Casino Background

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.

Louisiana Sports Betting Approved by Senate, Could Be Ready for Football Season

Lousiana State Seal With Casino Background

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.