Under the bill setting up the wagering laws, people in Louisiana could start betting on sports events as early as the fall through sportsbook sites, kiosk locations, and mobile sites. The bill is expected to be passed by the end of the week.
Before it reaches Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk, the legislation must go through a few more procedures, including a House floor discussion. However, lawmakers have shown little opposition to a bill supported by the Senate’s leader, especially after the majority of the state’s voters approved legalizing sports betting.
Sports betting on live-action games was approved by voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, but lawmakers must still define the regulations and tax rates before the gambling can begin. The tax bill has already received final legislative approval, leaving just the regulations to be approved.
The proposed regulations would create 20 sports betting licenses, with Louisiana’s casinos and racetracks getting first shot at them. If those casinos and racetracks do not apply for all 20 licenses by January 1, fantasy sports betting operators and video poker facilities in the 55 parishes where sports betting is permitted will be able to apply for any remaining licenses.
Any operator who obtains a license to handle onsite sports betting might also provide wagering via a website and mobile app. The Louisiana Lottery Corporation would also manage its own sportsbook through an internet site, mobile app, and kiosk sites that may be set up in bars and restaurants under a separate law already on the governor’s desk.
The state would tax the sports betting operators’ net gaming earnings under that law, with a 10% tax on gambling at onsite facilities and a 15% tax on gambling through mobile applications and electronic devices. It would also determine the sports betting operators’ application and license expenses.
Only if Cortez’s regulatory bill is passed by the legislature will the policy take effect.
Legislators haven’t chosen how they’ll spend the money that sports betting may bring in.