Louisiana Sports Betting Passes Senate, Heads To House

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Louisiana sports betting edged closer to becoming law today when the Senate voted 31-6 to authorize retail and mobile sportsbooks in a majority of the state’s 64 parishes. 

Senate Bill 247, sponsored by Sen. President Patrick Page Cortez of Lafayette, would authorize 20 licenses for sports betting at 15 of Louisiana’s riverboat casinos, four racetracks, and a land-based casino located inside the 55 parishes where sports betting is legal. Two skins would come with each license, which would be issued by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. 

All licensees would be eligible for retail and mobile betting under a fee structure laid out in a bipartisan House bill that passed the other chamber last week. That legislation — which would also allow a sportsbook operated by the Louisiana state lottery — is expected to make it through the Senate by Friday. 

SB 247 floor sponsor Sen. Rick Ward of Port Allen said before the Senate vote that sports betting was approved by 65 percent of Louisiana voters last fall — including the majority of voters in every single Senate district. 

“Really what we’re here to discuss today is how we go about doing what our constituents have asked us to do,” said Ward. 

What’s Next for Louisiana Sports Betting

The next stop for SB 247 is the Louisiana House, where passage appears likely based on the 78-24 passage of the licensing legislation on May 10. Once both measures are passed, they would go to Gov. John Bel Edwards to be signed into law. 

Licensees would have until Jan. 1, 2022 to apply for operation of sportsbooks in any of the parishes where sports betting is legal. Sports betting in the 55 parishes will be geofenced, requiring bettors in the nine parishes that didn’t legalize sports betting to travel to parishes where betting is legal if they want to place a sports wager. 

State Revenue Outlook

State revenue generated by legal sports betting in Louisiana could net as much as $20 million a year for the Pelican State, sources say.

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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