Most of the states with pending laws on sports betting are leaving it up to their constituents to decide on. At least, that is how it is in the US so far this year. And Louisiana is the third such state, following South Dakota and Maryland, to approve legislation and put it in the ballot. This means, that Louisiana moves closer to legalizing sports betting, but only if their residents want to. And so far, there is no news on whether there will be a chance for sportsbooks to use online bookie software or if retail sportsbooks will be the norm.
The Senate passed SB 130 29-8, with Senator Cameron Henry as author. This bill will ask voters if they will want sports betting activities and operations in their parish. SB 378, a similar bill, also passed in the Senate. Meanwhile, you also have HB 357 from the House, which is identical to the Senate bills. This bill is authored by Rep. Tanner D. Magee. This bill already has approval from the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice. If the House will pass this bill, it will go to Governor John Bel Edwards, who is known to support gambling.
Louisiana Moves Closer to Wagering
This is good news for Louisiana, as most bookie pay per head experts saw Louisiana’s failed efforts at legalizing sports betting just last year. But if this year, they get past last year’s problem and actually get approval, more steps will need to be made. Each parish will vote if they want to legalize sports betting in their respective areas. And since state tax issues are acted upon in odd years by the legislature, this will be tackled in 2021. If voters opt to legalize sports betting, then by 2021, or 2022, legislators can finally start working on the policies regarding sports betting.
Louisiana already has legalized gambling, so this is not entirely new territory for them. They already have casinos and riverboat operations. They even have video poker operations. But getting to be an online bookie in the state will have to wait a bit longer, even though the possible revenue they generate can help the state’s coffers.