Sports Betting Moves Forward in Louisiana
Louisiana has taken steps large steps towards the legalization of Sports Betting in the state.
Sports betting has been a hot topic in the state of Louisiana recently, and things look like they are coming to a head. Lawmakers are pushing to get sports betting approved in the Pelican State, but the final decision will be down to Louisiana residents. This news follows certain other states, such as Colorado, who have legalized sports betting to increase state revenues.
Louisiana was already in financial trouble before the coronavirus pandemic caused mass disruption and turmoil in the United States. The complete shutdown of significant businesses and operations has led to even more financial problems for the state. Lawmakers have agreed that legalizing sports betting, and taxing the revenue are excellent options to bring some much-needed funding to the state.
In early May, Senator Cameron Henry proposed a new sports betting bill. The state legislature has since spent time combing over the details. Last week, the Louisiana Senate voted on the bill, showing a 29-8 decision to advance the bill.
The next step in the process is the House of Representatives looking at the bill and suggesting changes or simply voting on it in its current state. Industry experts believe the bill will pass through the House of Representatives, which will then mean it progresses to the final step.
Typically, in most states, the bill would then be passed to the governor for his signature, but that isn’t the case in Louisiana. Voters will get the final say with a referendum expected to be placed on the ballot in November. The most recent state to legalize sports betting, Colorado, had a similar scenario last year. Votes in the Centennial State voted in favor of allowing sports betting to be made legal. The process will be similar in Louisiana, although the final decision will not be a state-wide one.
Voters in Parishes’ to Decide
There are 64 parishes (counties) in the state of Louisiana. Each parish will make their own decision regarding the referendum. Due to the voting being carried out this way, most of the state could have legal sports betting, while other parts do not, or vice versa.
The idea of legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports was also left up to the parishes in the state a few years ago. The outcome was a split decision, with most of the parishes voting to legalize daily fantasy sports. However, the state legislature could not come up with laws to regulate the industry, so the bill did not get off the ground.
If all goes well, sports betting could be legal in Louisiana by November. However, there is no set date for the industry to launch officially. Lawmakers will need to create laws on how to regulate and tax sports betting to get the green light in 2021. Furthermore, regulations will need to be made to determine where sports betting can occur in the state. There are a few operators, such as DraftKings and BetMGM who would love to get in on the action.
The bill proposed by Senator Henry would give all current gaming operators the chance to apply for a sports betting license. There are over 50 of these locations in Louisiana, including racetracks and casinos. One standout factor of the bill is that mobile betting would not be allowed. That could be subject to change; however, a new bill would need to be put forward and approved.
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