Louisiana Sports Betting Advances To Full Senate

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A Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced a Louisiana sports betting bill substitute that would allow licensed onsite and mobile sportsbooks to launch in a majority of the state’s parishes in 2022. 

Licensing fees for 15 riverboat casinos, four racetracks, and one land-based casino that would be eligible to operate onsite and mobile sports betting under Senate President Patrick Page Cortez’s Senate Bill 202 were approved as part of House bill yesterday. That bill, sponsored by Rep. John Stefanski, would also allow a sportsbook to operate through the state lottery. 

Licensees would have until Jan. 1, 2022, to apply for the operation of sportsbooks in the 55 Louisiana parishes that approved sports betting by referendum in Nov. 2020. 

Sports betting in the 55 parishes will be restricted to locations within the parish under Cortez’s legislation. That will require bettors in the state’s remaining nine parishes that didn’t approve sports betting to travel to a parish that did if they want to wager on a game or team once the books go live. 

How Louisiana Sports Betting Might Work 

Each of the 20 licensees authorized under Cortez’ bill would be allowed to operate in-person sports betting and mobile sports betting, with two skins per license, according to Cortez. The licensing costs, written into Stefanski’s bill, include a $250,000 application fee and a $500,000 license fee, with each license renewable for a five-year period. 

The definition of a sporting event under Cortez’ bill would include any professional, collegiate, Olympic/international, or e-sports events authorized by the state. 

Sportsbook Licensing Issues Up For Debate This Session

Senate Judiciary B Committee Chair Sen. Gary Smith, Jr. told Cortez that he had concerns about capping the licenses in the bill at 20, adding that a single licensee may own multiple properties. 

“In some respects, I really think we’re really limiting Louisiana by putting a cap on it, but that’s negotiations to the point,” Smith said. 

Cortez responded that the issue may come down to available space. 

He said a company that owns multiple gambling properties may reserve its license for a racino with space for a nice sports betting lounge and not put a sportsbook at, say, their first-generation riverboat. They would also have their mobile skins available. 

“They’re all going to make a profit, and that’s where the free market is going to dictate what ends up happening,” said Cortez. 

State Revenue Outlook

State revenue generated by legal sports betting in Louisiana would come from Stefanski’s bill. The legislation would place a 10 percent tax on net onsite sports betting proceeds and an 18 percent tax on proceeds from mobile sports bets. 

Stefanski has said that Louisiana sports betting could generate as much as $20 million a year in revenue for the Pelican State. 

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Writer and Contributor
Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region 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, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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