Louisiana State Capitol

  • The Louisiana State Legislature began their 2021 session on Monday.
  • Sports betting regulations will be a main topic this session as the industry requires a structure before it can go live to the public.
  • A handful of bills have been pre-filed to be heard, with mobile and retail sportsbooks finding themselves within these drafts.

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana State Legislature is open for business, starting their 2021 session on Monday and discussions for the regulated sports betting industry are at the top of the list to be heard.

In November, 55 of the 64 parishes voted to regulate sports wagering markets and now it’s up to lawmakers in the 2021 session to come up with the foundation for how the market will operate in the state.

Two bills have already been pre-filed and are expected to take the floor for introductions on Monday. Senate Bill 195 and Senate Bill 202 are very similar pieces of legislation with minimal differences between them. Each ask for retail and mobile sports betting to become options for the 55 parishes to implement should they choose to do so.

Regulated Sportsbooks In Louisiana

The headliner for these two proposals, as well as the handful of others that have been filed regarding sports wagering, is the inclusion of mobile sportsbooks. Wagering on sporting events via mobile applications typically brings in the lion’s share of handle and revenue for any state that has this outlet available to sports bettors. And Louisiana lawmakers are banking on that to be case for their industry as well.

Retail sportsbooks in Louisiana would be seen at any of their four racinos, one casino, or thirteen riverboat gaming venues. Should Louisiana choose to go the route of Tennessee with a strictly mobile business, it is estimated that revenue could be seen as high as $20 million annually.

The age to gamble on sports is set at 21 through both proposals that are currently up for discussion.

Tax rates have been tight-lipped with both drafts, as well as other proposals that have not seen as much focus. The Louisiana Sports Wagering Act would be used as a format for the requirements of the market. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) would regulate the sports betting industry of Louisiana and would be able to work out any issues for rules and regulations while also having the job of licensing operators.

Unfortunately, regulated sports betting for mobile applications would require in-person registration with the way that the drafts have been written at this time. This requirement has proven to be problematic for states in the past in terms of the amount of activity seen with their apps because of it.

It left a lack of profit that others states saw without this particular stipulation in place for mobile platforms.

To ensure that all gambling on sports with mobile outlets is being done properly, geofencing software will be a part of these applications. This would make it so no one outside of the parish where the platform is tethered can access their account to wager on the games.

What’s Next?

A structure for the sports wagering industry in Louisiana needs to get done prior to the end of the session on June 12. Insiders hope to see the bill that will eventually see passage be enacted into law by this summer and have sportsbooks go live in the Fall for NFL season.

However, that’s a tight schedule to adhere to and Louisiana may need to wait until 2022 to see sports betting launch in their parishes.

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