Louisiana House Committee on Ways and Means.

  • House Bill 628 looks like the favored bill to become the landscape for the regulated sports betting industry of Louisiana.
  • The measure passed in its first committee on Wednesday and will move forward in the legislative process toward becoming law.
  • LA HB 628 would regulate mobile and retail sportsbooks, including sports betting kiosks at restaurants and bars.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Three bills created to set the foundation for the newly regulated sports betting market in Louisiana are up for discussion with one already seeing movement on Wednesday within the Louisiana State Legislature. In November, 55 of the 64 parishes in the state voted to regulate sports wagering markets and now lawmakers are looking to build the landscape for how that market will run.

The Sports Gaming Bills In Louisiana

House Bill 628 is the first bill of the three filed in the state for sports betting to see any action. On Wednesday, the House Committee on Ways and Means passed the proposal with a unanimous vote of 16 YEAS and 0 NAYS.

The measure sets a cap of 20 retail sportsbooks entitled to two mobile sportsbook operators apiece. The tax rate on all GGR from land-based establishments is set at 10% while online platforms will see a rate of 18%.

As one of the higher mobile tax rates seen in the country, Bill sponsor and State Representative Todd Stefanski says this was done to encourage retail sports betting more since typically online options are the most popular in the nation.

With the Louisiana Lottery named as the regulator for the industry, they are eligible for their own mobile sportsbook application and can offer sports betting at any lottery retailer in the form of sports betting terminals at these locations. Even bars and restaurants in the state could see sportsbook kiosks in their facilities if they have a license to serve alcohol.

House Bill 628 will now move forward to the next committee for approvals. Senate Bill 202 and Senate Bill 195 are almost identical bills for regulated sports wagering in Louisiana and the other two that were introduced to lawmakers.

Both bills last saw action on April 12 and each is waiting to be heard by the Senate Committee on Judiciary B. Although no further dates have been set for either measure to be heard. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) would regulate the market under these proposals.

Each sets its rules and regulations to follow the Louisiana Sports Wagering Act. Mobile sports betting would require in-person registration and cashless methods to fund sportsbooks are required.

Upcoming Talks In Louisiana

There is plenty that needs to be talked about in the Louisiana State Legislature regarding regulated sports betting. The 55 parishes involved will all have different views on how the market should be implemented and all of these views must be heard and agreed upon before the session adjourns on June 10.

At this point, Louisiana sports betting looks like something that will be favored by way of House Bill 628. This particular bill opens the state up to more options and a more competitive market that could help fund the education system and other programs in Louisiana. It is also the only measure that has seen approvals with about six weeks left in the session to get a proposal passed for the industry.

As soon as whichever bill chosen for passage is signed by Governor John Bel Edwards it can be enacted as law on July 1, giving operators enough time to go live for the 2021 NFL season.

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