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 House Approves Sports Betting Bill

Louisiana State Seal With a Casino and Historic Background

Sports bettors in Louisiana are one step closer to start wagering on sports event if Gov. John Bel Edwards approves the second of two bills that are about to clear the state legislature.

Senate Bill 247 passed the Louisiana House by a vote of 78 to 15 on Thursday night. However, the bill, which sets up the protocols and oversight for Louisiana sports betting, has been sent back to the Senate for last-minute amendments by its Senate sponsors. It will need to return to the Upper chamber to concur with the changes.

The other bill, House Bill 697, which sets up the taxes and fees for Louisiana sports betting, already passed last week and is already on the desk of Gov. Edwards for his signature.

Approved by Two-Thirds of Voters

Voters in 55 out of the state’s total 64 parishes, with nearly two-thirds of the voters statewide approving, chose to participate. But before Louisiana residents can actually place a sports bet in the state, legislators need to pass a law that will set up how things will be done. That’s what SB 247 and HB 697 are here for.

Under the two bills, bettors can place a wager on sporting events on their smart phones, in casinos, or at kiosks in bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic drinks. Should the Governor sign both bills, which is expected, the Gaming Control Board must come up with the rules and regulations and start accepting applications for Louisiana sports betting licenses.

20 Licenses to Be Issued

A total of 20 licenses will be issued, 15 to the casinos and the other 5 to the existing racinos in the state. Each license is allowed to have two skins. Convenience stores won’t be allowed to put up a sports betting kiosk however, retail establishments with a Class A license where alcohol can be sold, can apply for a Louisiana sports betting license.

Local retail establishments which will put up a retail sports betting outlet will be levied a tax rate of 10% on gross revenues. Meanwhile, operators who wish to put up mobile platforms will be charged a 15% tax on their gross revenues.

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.

Louisiana Sports Betting Bill Advances in Senate

Louisiana State Seal With a Casino and Historic Background

A bill that would allow legal Louisiana sports betting advanced in the Senate on Tuesday to set the regulations for sports betting in parishes which voted in favor of its legalization.

55 out of 64 Louisiana parishes voted to allow sports betting on live-action games but before players could start making wagers, lawmakers must first set the regulations and tax rates.

The bill next heads to the full Senate for a debate but could be diverted to the Senate budget committee for a second review.

A separate bill filed by Republican Rep. John Stefanski of Crowley, passed the House on a 78-24 vote on Monday and awaits debate in the Senate. That measure would set the tax rates for legal Louisiana sports betting.

20 Sports Betting Licenses Available

The Senate bill which was backed without objection by a Senate judiciary committee is sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez. Unde the measure, a total fo 20 Louisiana sports betting licenses would be handed out, with the state’s casinos and race tracks given the priority to get those licenses.

If Louisiana casinos and race tracks don’t apply for all of the 20 available legal Louisiana sports betting licenses, fantasy sports operators and video poker establishments in the 55 parishes where sports betting is legal would be able to apply for the remaining licenses.

Must Be Physically Present

To place a legal sports bet, a player would have to be at least 21 years old and be physically present in one of the 55 parishes who voted to legalize Louisiana sports betting.
If the bettor lives in a parish that voted against it, then he must drive up to any of the parishes who did.

Before a bettor can place a wager, he must digitally register and deposit via smartphone or other mobile devices. Athletes, coaches, and referees are not allowed to place legal sports wagers in games where they are involved.