Sports Betting Officially Legal in Louisiana
Sports betting is continuing to grow as Louisiana joined the list of states who have legalized wagering. On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law that legalized sports gambling in the state.
The first, SB 247, dealt with the regulations for Louisiana sports betting. The second, SB 142, established the allocation of sports betting tax revenue in the state. The framework of sports betting in Louisiana will allow the industry to become a significant competitor in the United States.
Details of Louisiana Sports Betting
Louisiana sports betting will allow up to 41 mobile operators in the state. Very few states allow for this many providers, but every license in LA includes two mobile skins.
The Louisiana Lottery has been designated as the governing body over sports betting. There will be 20 licenses granted in the state to the casinos and racinos. The lottery must provide follow-up rules for sports wagering once the laws officially go into effect on July 1.
Sports betting will likely launch by football season if LA can commit to their desired betting timeline. The opening game of the 2021 NFL season will occur on September 9.
The Buccaneers will host the Cowboys to begin the 2021 slate. This event and the opening weekend of games are always significant for the betting industry. It will require a lot of work on the part of the Louisiana Lottery to make betting a reality by September, but it’s possible.
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Long Period of Legislation
Senate President Page Cortez was ecstatic that sports betting came into fruition on Tuesday. The process of legalization for betting dates to 2019, when the first serious discussions started occurring in the legislature. Cortez sponsored SB 247, which established the framework for sports betting in Louisiana.
The lawmaker claimed, “SB 247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering, and SB 142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education.”
Legislators in the House were also excited that Governor Edwards signed the bill. Representative Michael Echlos was also vocal about how sports betting will benefit the state.
Distribution of Tax Revenue
Legislatures legalize sports betting because of the financial return it can bring to a state. Senator Rick Ward II sponsored SB 142, which handled the tax distribution of sports betting.
Ward’s bill was widely supported throughout both chambers, which is why it passed with ease. According to the bill, 60% of the revenue will be dedicated to the state’s general fund.
This decision will allow the majority of the revenue to have a broad reach in the state. The remainder of the bill will be allocated to specific interests. Twenty-five percent will go towards early childhood programs, 12% will be given to local businesses, 2% to gambling addiction programs, and 1% to the horsemen fund.
Revenue will be taxed at 15% for mobile and 10% for retail. A 2019 study forecasted that sports betting could bring $330 million in tax revenue to the state per year.