- The Louisiana Legislature will see at least five sports betting bills when the session begins next week.
- The Bayou State has been trying to legalize gambling on sporting events to no avail since the overturn of PASPA in 2018.
- Governor John Bel Edwards has said that he is in favor of legal sports betting in Louisiana.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Lawmakers are trying their hand again at legalizing sports betting in Louisiana with five separate bills for the upcoming legislative session.
The gaming market in the Bayou State has shown signs of decline in the last year and expanding into sports gambling could help revive the gaming market as a whole.
The five bills that would make sports betting legal are already confusing as they want to follow a parish-by-parish way of legalization which has only delayed and complicated matters for states and countries that have employed this strategy.
Legal Sports Betting Stance In Louisiana
Governor John Bel Edwards is in favor of legalizing sports betting in Louisiana. He has expressed in the past his feelings for allowing casinos to expand with sportsbooks and now is as good a time as any as casino profits have dwindled. If anyone of these bills can pass the hurdles of the House and Senate and make it to the Governor’s desk, he would surely sign one of them if they were up to his standards.
“I want to be in a position to actually do it in Louisiana because we know it is happening in Mississippi,” said Edwards last year.
According to the University of Nevada’s Center for Gaming Research, casinos in the Bayou State are down 2.3% from where they were in 2018. In 2019, they had a total worth of $3.08 billion. Sports betting legalization would get people in the door of these casinos and further the possibilities for additional profits.
The five bills that hold some hope of bringing legal sports betting to Louisiana are LA SB 66, LA SB 130, LA SB 332, LA HB 357, and LA SB 378. Of the five, one is a House bill while the rest are Senate bills.
While the internet and mobile platforms have not been fully discussed yet, it would be wise for the state to implement these outlets if they were to legalize the pastime to sustain the market’s profitability.
Mobile and internet sports betting makes up for about 80% of all wagers taken by states that offer this form of sports betting to their residents.
With five separate bills being pre-filed to be heard for the 2020 legislative session in Louisiana, lawmakers will have plenty to go over. The session begins on March 9 and will adjourn on June 1. Even if one of these bills passes, it will be some time before the Bayou State will see legal sportsbooks.
Taxes on state issues are discussed every other year meaning that sports betting taxes would be a topic of discussion in 2021. The best that sports bettors in Louisiana can hope for is a late 2021 to early 2022 launch of sportsbooks if all goes well in the 2020 session.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.