The Louisiana Senate

  • Louisiana should be seeing mobile sportsbooks go live by the start of the 2021 NFL season.
  • Two of the three sports betting bills in the state need one more vote each before all three can be signed by Governor John Bel Edwards.
  • An estimated $20 million in yearly revenue is expected from sportsbooks that will operate in the 55 parishes in Louisiana that will have regulated markets.

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana State Legislature is nearing the buzzer as they are set to adjourn for 2021 on June 10, making sports betting regulatory bills a hot topic recently. In November, sports gaming was voted on by constituents to become an industry in 55 of the 64 parishes in the state.

The Status Of The Three Bills That Will Be The Foundation Of The Louisiana Market

There are a total of three bills for the state that come together as a package for the market and all three need to be passed by next week. House Bill 697, the measure dealing with the tax area of the industry was approved in the House on May 10 by a vote of 78 YEAS and 24 NAYS and would later pass in the Senate on May 20 with 32 YEAS and 4 NAYS. On May 26, it was sent to Governor John Bel Edwards’ office where it is awaiting his signature.

On Wednesday, Senate Bill 142, the proposal aimed toward directing where the revenue collected from the sports wagering industry will go passed in the Senate with 33 YEAS and 3 NAYS. The proposal is now seeking House approval before moving forward to the Governor for his green light.

The last bill in the pack is Senate Bill 247, which provides the overall layout of how the sports betting market in Louisiana will run. This measure passed in the Senate on May 19, receiving a vote of 31 YEAS and 6 NAYS. It is scheduled for a House debate on Thursday where a third reading and a vote for its final passage should occur.

A Quick Overview Of What Each Bill Brings To The Table

House Bill 697, while being a tax bill, allows the Louisiana Lottery to become a licensed mobile sportsbook. It also gives them the ability to put sports betting terminals at various eateries and pubs throughout the 55 parishes involved in sports betting. There will be a 10% tax on all handle for land-based venues and a 15% tax for mobile sportsbooks.

Licenses are good for five years and can be renewed for a fee of $500,000 per LA HB 697. Interested operators will need to pay $250,000 upfront with their completed application for a license. It has been projected that Louisiana could see up to $20 million in annual revenue from its sports wagering market.

Regulated sports betting in the state will see 20 brick-and-mortar licenses which are set to go to the one land-based casino, the fifteen riverboat casinos, and the four race tracks in LA. These locations are outside the terminal locations that will be associated with the lottery. There will be forty mobile sports betting platforms through these 20 venues as each business can operate two mobile platforms apiece. Additionally, there is no in-person registration requirement to join an online sportsbook in the state.

As far as where the money collected from Louisiana sports gaming will go, there is a specific breakdown within these bills for that. The Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund will receive 20% of all revenue brought in by the industry, 10% will be allotted to equal distribution among the parishes involved, 1% goes to the Behavioral Health and Wellness Fund, 1% will be put toward the Sports Wagering Purse Supplemental Fund, and the leftover 68% will be put into the Louisiana General Fund where it can be dispersed as needed to initiatives statewide.

Looking Ahead

Each of these three sports wagering bills will be passed by June 10 in the legislature. After Governor Edwards signs off on them, they will be enacted as official law on July 1. It is expected that sportsbooks will launch in Louisiana for the 2021 NFL season for all of the betting that goes along with football. The digitized version of the industry will go live first as the expansion to retail establishments will require more time and should be seen by early 2022.

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