- Sports bettors in Louisiana will not have legalized sports betting for Super Bowl 54.
- Advocates for legalization hope that the 2020 House session will be the year that wagering on sports is approved to receive Governor John Bel Edwards’ signature.
- Waiting for a 2021 session will prove to be more difficult as that will be a fiscal year for the state.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Residents in Louisiana will be able to enjoy viewing Super Bowl LIV but wagering on the game is not within their reach.
Despite efforts to legalize sports betting in the state in 2019, the House failed to end with a positive outcome. The 2020 session does not begin until March 9, well after SB54 has ended which shuts down any ideas of sports bettors being able to gamble with a local sportsbook.
What’s The Hold Up?
Committee members voted 14-6 against the legalization of sports betting with bill LA SB 153 in 2019. While on the floor, lawmakers were requesting too many amendments to the bill from taxes to locations.
All of the changes that were done only started by the 11th hour of the session making the dragging of feet for amendments the final straw in the vote against legalization. Ten hours of being stuck on the issue was the nail in the coffin for LA SB 153.
“As usual, we’re going to be two years behind everyone else,” said Danny Martiny (R-Kenner), a Senate Committee member during the 2019 session. “In our quest to be No. 50 in everything, here’s another one. You do what you want. I’m just telling you we’re the laughing stock of the country.”
Martiny sponsored the sports betting bill LA SB 153.
Governor John Bel Edwards is in support of making gambling on sporting events a legal reality for Louisiana. The Governor is a Democrat while the legislature in the state is predominantly Republican with very traditional conservative values.
While any bill on sports betting would likely receive the signature of Edwards, it would first have to pass through the House to do so. That’s where the glitch lies as so many lawmakers in the House are against any type of expansion in gambling which includes wagering on sports.
If a new bill proposal can be put together by March to be presented to the House while they are in session, then there is hope for the Bayou State when it comes to legalizing sportsbooks. Neighboring state Mississippi has seen a boom in the gambling market since making sports betting legal.
After five months of taking bets on sporting matches, the state has already seen $1 million in revenue from the new market.
“Mississippi just reported its highest state gaming revenue in its history,” said Wade Duty, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Casino Association. “That tells us sports betting is a model that’s working for them. It’s a draw to the facility.”
The Super Bowl is slated to bring in over $6.8 billion in wagers nationwide by an estimated 26 million sports bettors. None of those bets will be coming from residents of the Bayou.
Surrounding states will gain profits from gamblers in Louisiana who will drive to give them business for the big game. There is still a chance that March will see a new sports betting bill proposal that the House can agree on before the entire country legalizes the pastime, leaving Louisiana in the rearview mirror.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.