Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

  • The Louisiana State Legislature has finally closed for their 2021 session and with it, have given approval to the final two sports betting bills that were on the schedule.
  • Governor John Bel Edwards has 20 days to sign these sports gaming measures into law.
  • Louisiana would like to launch its new sports betting industry by the 2021 NFL season.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana passed its last two bills to complete their trio of sports betting measures on Thursday, the last day of their 2021 session. The legislation will now go to Governor John Bel Edwards‘ office to be signed into law.

This entire process has been almost two years in the making.

In 2020, a bill was passed to get the subject of regulated sports betting on the November 2020 ballot. Through that ballot, 55 of the 64 parishes in the state voted to open sportsbooks in their communities. During the 2021 session, lawmakers had to come up with the foundation for the new market and it took them until the very last day to agree on the framework.

The Louisiana Sports Betting Package

House Bill 697 was the first to pass through the Louisiana State Legislature and was signed by the Governor on Friday, turning it into Act No. 80. This measure puts a 10% tax on all retail sportsbook GGR and a 15% tax on the 41 mobile operators that were allotted within LA SB 247.

The lottery will be able to offer sports wagering terminals at restaurants and bars as well as have a mobile sportsbook application of their own with this law. There is a $250,000 application fee for a license and a $500,000 renewal fee for licenses which is required every five years.

The second bill that passed out of the legislature did so on Thursday. Senate Bill 247 was approved by a vote of 33 YEAS and 3 NAYS and is now on its way to the Governor. This is the meat and potatoes for regulated Louisiana sports betting.

This measure allows for 41 mobile sportsbooks, 20 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, and horse race betting at Harrah’s.

The third and final bill to round out the package is Senate Bill 142, which was the last to receive approval with a vote of 35 YEAS and 1 NAY. This measure went back and forth between the House and Senate because it deals with where the money from the sports betting industry will go. The bulk of revenue collected will be going to the Louisiana General Fund, while the second-largest chunk will be going toward the Louisiana Early Education Fund.

What Happens Now?

Governor John Bel Edwards has 20 days to sign the last two bills for them to officially become law in Louisiana. After that, the state is seeking to go live with its sportsbooks by the 2021 NFL season.

Mobile sportsbooks should be the first platforms to launch as they do not require extra time for construction like that of land-based venues. And just like that, Louisiana will now be a part of the robust sports betting market within the United States that continues to grow each year.

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