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Louisiana Sports Betting Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

Bill Would Allow Voters In Each Parish The Final Say On Sports Betting

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Louisiana CapitolA bill that would give Louisiana voters that ability to legalize sports betting this November is just one signature away from becoming law.

The Louisiana House passed SB 130 yesterday morning by an overwhelming 71-24 majority. It passed through the Senate a couple weeks earlier by a 29-8 margin.

The bill heads to Gov. John Bel Edwards desk. The Democratic governor is expected to sign the bill and allow the issue to be voted on by localities this November.

According to the Monroe News-Star, the issue will appear on statewide ballots in every parish this election day if Bel Edwards signs the bill. Even if some parishes did not pass the bill, it is almost a guarantee that some would, and sports betting could be in parts of the state in late 2021.

The bill does not establish any regulations, tax rates, or even if online wagering would be permitted. The legislature would iron out those details in the 2021 legislative session. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board would serve as the body that has ultimate authority over the sports betting industry.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Cameron Henry, told USA Today that creating the regulatory framework is “the more complicated part.”

The state doesn’t have a history of acting fast in response to gambling expansion. In 2018, 47 of 64 parishes passed fantasy sports legislation, but lawmakers have yet to construct regulations that would allow its citizens to participate.

Louisiana is home to 20 commercial casinos and three tribal properties. According to the American Gaming Association, the 23 properties generate $6.1 billion in revenue annually, with $1.5 billion going to state and local governments.