• Senate Bill 153 would allow the state’s 25 gambling venues to offer on-site sportsbooks.
  • Mobile sports wagering would be limited to physical operator facilities.
  • Final authorization to allow Louisiana sports betting would be up to each individual parish.

BATON ROUGE, La. – A Senate bill to legalize sports wagering has cleared the Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 3-1 on Tuesday. This means that the proposal, SB 153, will be sent to the full Senate for a vote.

If passed, the bill would create the Louisiana Sports Wagering Control Law (see page 11).

Last year, similar legislation couldn’t find its way out of session. However, with neighboring states now offering legal sports betting, Louisiana is perhaps more interested in stopping the outflow of taxable monies to these other venues.

Bill sponsor Sen. Danny Martiny (R-Kenner) estimates that legal Louisiana sportsbooks could generate between $40 million and $60 million in tax revenue for the state.

Based on both the 2017 Global Market Advisors (GMA) report and the 2017 Oxford Economics/American Gaming Association (AGA) report, Martiny’s estimate is a conservative one. Both the GMA and AGA estimate mature market tax revenue of between $45 million and more than $100 million annually.

Martiny’s lower estimate seems to be predicated on the fact that, at least at launch, Louisiana sports betting would be limited to the state’s land-, track-, and riverboat-based gambling venues.

This means there would be a maximum of 25 sports betting venues available to Louisiana gamblers.

While mobile online betting is part of SB 153, it would be geofenced to physical sportsbook properties, allowing bettors to place wagers from elsewhere on the gaming floor, from restaurants, and from their hotel rooms.

Residents elsewhere in the state would not be able to wager with these operators over the Internet.

Louisiana Sports Betting Bill Specifics

For the most past, SB 153 is fairly standard when compared against many other states’ pieces of sports betting legislation. However, it is important to note that the law would not automatically legalize sports wagering upon passage.

Instead, the proposal – once passed – would require each state parish to vote on whether or not to allow the pastime within their municipalities.

Under the Louisiana Sports Wagering Control Law, the minimum legal age for sports betting participation would be 21 years old. All professional sports and collegiate sports would be eligible for inclusion on odds boards, though wagering on high school sports, eSports, and competitive video gaming would not be authorized.

Licensed and regulated sports wagering venues would be required to install dedicated sports betting lounges, though these facilities may additionally offer automated sports wagering kiosks throughout their properties.

As currently offered, SB 153 does not lay out any licensing fees or taxation considerations for prospective sportsbooks in the state. It is possible that under the existing terms of the proposal, individual parishes will be able to set their own sports betting tax rates.

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