SB130 was passed by Louisiana’s House of Representatives, with a referendum planned for November. The state will have to undergo a parish-by-parish vote to give a final go-ahead on sports betting.
Louisiana to Hold Parish-by-parish Referendum to Legalize Sports Betting in November
Louisiana’s sports betting legalization is now one step closer following a recent Senate Bill that was approved by the House of Representatives. Representatives in the state voted 71-24 and approved Senate Bill 130. Passing without any amendments, the bill will reach the governor’s desk for approval. Legalizing sports betting in the state could become a fact after a referendum in November. According to SB130, Louisiana’s citizens will vote on a parish by parish.
Sports betting will be enabled only for the parishes which vote in favor of the bill. The lawmakers in the state and the Gaming Control Board have not yet set the licensing and regulation guidelines, and this is expected to be done next year, should the vote clear the ballots. Furthermore, taxes for the sports betting are yet to be set up. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Cameron Henry, is already backed up by the Senate.
Sports Betting in the State Needs Tax Regulation
Former state Senator Danny Martiny commented on the subject by saying: “The people who want to bet are betting anyway, we’re just not reaping any benefits.” Martiny actually tried pushing the legalization of sports betting earlier this year, but he stepped down. He did not miss to mention that sports betting: “It exists, it’s an industry in and of itself, it’s just not regulated and we don’t tax it.”
Regulated daily fantasy sports is not a new topic in Louisiana. Back in 2018, some 47 out of the 64 parishes in the state had agreed to support tax regulations for fantasy sports betting.
The Gaming Market is Key to Louisiana’s Economy
Louisiana’s gambling market is yet another market that took a heavy hit due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread. Similar to other states, casino operations were discontinued in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. This however might impact the market in the long-term, keeping in mind the near three-month operations shutdown. While the casinos in the state began reopening under enhanced safety protocols last week, the American Gaming Association (AGA) issued a report which proves that casino operations are critical for Louisiana State.
According to the report, the 25 commercial and tribal casinos in Louisiana generate the staggering amount of $1.5 billion in state tax revenue. The tax revenue along with nearly 41,000 workplaces that the gaming industry is responsible for clearly proves that the gaming industry is a key factor in the state’s economy. Further to the report, AGA noted that an excessive of $1 billion was lost due to the postponement of operations in Louisiana.