Two bills in Louisiana have advanced on Tuesday, moving forward to the Senate, which would allow residents of the state to bet on sporting events at sportsbook locations and through mobile apps.
Louisiana Sports Betting Bills Move Forward to the Senate
Louisiana residents could be able to start betting on sporting events at sportsbook facilities and mobile apps, as bills, filed as SB202 and HB697, permitting sports wagering, moved forward to the Senate on Tuesday.
The bills aim to regulate sports betting in the parishes where it’s legal. Residents in 55 parishes out of 64 in Louisiana have agreed to permit sports wagering and live-action games. However, legislators need to set the rules and taxes before the gambling operations begin. Republican legislative leaders anticipate betting in the state, and they have “a strong chance” to forward the bill to the governor for signing.
The bill is moving forward for a debate in the full Senate. However, it could divert to the Senate budget committee for another review before that.
Louisiana took its first step forward towards legalizing sports gambling last year when voters approved the measure. In April this year, Louisiana Legislation resumed talks on the topic and started discussing several bills.
On Monday the House voted on another separate measure for tax rates on betting with 78-24, which also waits for debate in the Senate.
Casinos and Racetracks Would Receive 20 Licenses
The bills, backed without any objection by the Senate judiciary committee, and sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez, would allow casinos and sportsbook operators to allow wagering. Sportsbook operators would receive 20 licenses, as the state casinos and racetracks would be among the first to receive them.
If the casinos and racetracks don’t obtain the 20 licenses by January 1, other sportsbook operators and video poker facilities in the 55 parishes where sports wagering is legal would be able to apply for licenses.
Any operator who has sports wagering licenses would be allowed to offer mobile wagering through a website or an app. Bettors would have to be 21 or older, and they would need to be physically located in the parish legalized betting.
Sen. Rick Ward stated that residents who want to play but live in one of the parishes that didn’t legalize betting would have to drive to the parishes that have legalized it. Professional athletes, coaches, and other participants in the sporting events would not be allowed to bet on the event if they are involved in them.