The Louisiana Senate

  • Louisiana is nearing the final passages for sports betting legislation as the 2021 session winds down.
  • Two more bills need to undergo votes by June 10 before they can be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards’ office for approval as law.
  • The retail and mobile sports gaming market for Louisiana would like to go live by the 2021 NFL season.

BATON ROUGE, La. – On Thursday, the Louisiana House of Representatives held a third reading and vote on Senate Bill 247 that offers a foundation for the sports betting industry of the state. The legislation was passed by a margin of 78 YEAS to 15 NAYS.

Although LA SB 247 saw approval by the Senate on May 19 with a vote of 31 YEAS and 6 NAYS, the draft that was passed within the chamber saw amendments in the House. This now requires the Senate to have a second vote on the amended version of the bill before it can move out of the Louisiana State Legislature and onto the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards for signature.

Final Days Of The LA 2021 Session Next Week

There are three bills that tie together the regulated sports betting industry in Louisiana. Senate Bill 247 deals with the framework of the market and will allow for 20 land-based sportsbooks throughout the 55 of 64 parishes statewide that voted in November to open sports wagering in the Pelican State.

Each of these 20 locations will be entitled to two mobile sportsbook applications for a total of 41 online platforms to wager on sports, as the Louisiana Lottery will have one of their own. The lottery will also be allowed to put sports gaming kiosks in multiple bars and restaurants throughout the regulated parishes for sports bettors to utilize and bet on the games happening daily.

House Bill 697 that sets a 10% tax on GGR for retail sportsbooks and a 15% tax on mobile applications was sent to the Governor’s office on May 26 after passing through the legislature. This proposal is what will give the lottery its eligibility to open retail and mobile sports betting. Through this bill, an initial fee of $250,000 will be required for licensure with a $500,000 renewal fee every five years. A total of $20 million in revenue is estimated to be collected annually at these rates from the Louisiana sports wagering market.

The last measure, Senate Bill 142, passed in the Senate on Wednesday with 33 YEAS and 3 NAYS. It is scheduled to be read in the House Appropriations Committee on Monday. This will be the bill’s second reading. It will then need a third reading and a vote for passage before the June 10 adjournment date of the legislature.

This particular measure distinguishes the various places that the revenue received from the sports gaming industry of the Pelican State will go. The bulk of profits, equaling 68%, will be put in the Louisiana General Fund while the other largest chunk of 20% will go to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund.

What Should Happen Next

Senate Bill 247 is not on the Senate schedule but should have a hearing for passage prior to June 10. LA SB 142 should also have its final hearings in the House and pass as well. Then all three bills will be with Governor John Bel Edwards for him to sign into law. It is expected that the trio of measures will be signed and official by July 1.

Lawmakers hope to launch the industry, most likely in mobile form first, for the 2021 NFL season.

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