Louisiana to Debate Sports Betting in the Senate

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Louisiana's Senate out of session.
  • Louisiana to debate SB 153 in Senate
  • The bill will bring up to $60 million in monthly revenue
  • The Senate hearing is decisive

Another sports betting legislation is stepping in the ring. This time, Louisiana is pushing ahead with plans to debate a fully-legalized industry in the Senate.

Louisiana’s Senate to Debate Sports Betting

The Louisiana Senate is gearing up to host a debate about whether sports betting should be legalized in the Senate. Since May 2018, a spate of states around the US have successfully pushed and introduced their own legal framework regulating the activity.

SB 153 or the Louisiana Sports Wagering Control Act was brought up by Senator Danny Martiny in March and it seeks to introduce sports betting at three specific types of locations:

  • Horse racing tracks
  • Casinos
  • Riverboats

The bill has already been successful in clearing some of the preliminary hurdles put its way with the Senate Judiciary B Committee voting 3-1 in favor of passing on the draft legislation for debate to the floor.

Apart from the aforementioned destinations, special kiosks would also be allowed to accept wagers. Mobile betting will be part of the offer, but customers wouldn’t be allowed to bet outside the locations that would be purposed for the activity.

To places wagers from their handheld devices, future customers would need to first register in-person. If the bill is passed into law, a state-wide referendum would need to be held. It can coincide with the upcoming elections on October 12.

Businesses that want to offer sports betting options would need to obtain the required license first and meet criteria that are still being debated. The bill doesn’t mention several important aspects of the experience, such as:

  • Licensing fees
  • Renewal periods
  • Tax rate
  • Number of available licenses

Another bill, HB 587 is also in the works and it has been far more straightforward about the nature of sports betting activities, defining the tax rate and license fees.

Betting in Louisiana – Some of the Curious Details

Louisiana is not a stranger to gambling. The state has 15 riverboat casinos, four different racetracks and the Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. The new bill is planning to allow wagering on various activities, including:

  • Traditional sports
  • Collegiate sports

Conversely, it will specifically exclude more exotic contest, such as electronic sports or “esports” as it is more broadly known. Louisiana expects to beat the economic windfall of Tennessee, another state that has been recently pushing for a legal industry.

Louisiana expects between $40 million and $60 million in direct economic windfall. If everything goes according to plan, anyone who is 21 or older will be allowed to place wagers.

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