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Pair Of Sports Betting Bills Advance From Louisiana Senate Committee

Bills Would Put The Issue Up For A Referendum In November

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A pair of sports betting bills were advanced by Louisana’s Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, with one of its sponsors having completely flip-flopped on the issue since the last time the issue was in the legislature.

Republican Sen. Cameron Henry, a critic of last year’s sports betting bill, is actually the sponsor of SB 130. Henry’s bill is very vague and doesn’t establish anything like tax rates, where sports betting would be allowed, or if mobile betting would be permitted.

Instead, the bill simply offers the issue to be put on a statewide referendum this November. If the bill were to pass the legislature and at the voting booth, if all goes as smoothly as possible, Louisiana could have legal sports betting by the fall of 2021.

According to Center Square, the bill advanced through the committee "with little discussion and no objections,” meaning that it likely will have plenty of support when the bill heads to the floor for a full vote.

Henry told some media outlets that he believes a full vote could come as early as next week. A nearly identical bill sponsored by Sen. Ronnie Johns was also advanced by the committee.

While there is some hope for the passage of the bill, there are still plenty of social conservatives in the legislature that are against any sort of gambling expansion for moral reasons. Proponents of the bill are arguing that the tax revenue the state could collect outweigh any moral downside.

Last year, a sports betting bill stalled in the House and a bill that would regulate fantasy sports contests also went nowhere.