The Louisiana sports betting legislative process was extensive. However, it has concluded, and sports betting is now legal in the state. Governor John Bel Edwards signed two sports wagering bills into law which was the final step in the legalization process.
The two bills were SB 247 and SB 142. SB 247 set the regulation standards for wagering, and SB 142 handled the fund distribution for sports betting revenue in Louisiana. Mobile and retail sports betting will be allowed in 55 of the 64 parishes in the state following the results of the November 2020 referendum vote.
Excitement in the Legislature
Lawmakers have been attempting to pass sports betting for an extended period in the Louisiana legislature. Sports betting has been frowned upon in the south because of religious beliefs. Although, multiple southern states have passed sports betting recently, which shows how far the industry has come in the nation.
Senate President Page Cortez spoke to the media after the governor signed the bills into effect. He sponsored SB 247, so he was excited that Governor Edwards inked his bill.
“SB 247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering, and SB 142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education.”
Football Season is Looming
Football season is the time of the year where states really benefit from sports betting. Football is the most popular sport in the United States, and this shows in the national betting handle during the season.
The legislation will go into effect on Thursday, July 1. Therefore, sports betting should launch in the state by September 9, the opening night of the 2021 NFL season. The Buccaneers will host the Cowboys in one of the biggest kickoff games in years.
Tom Brady and Dak Prescott will battle on NBC. This primetime game will receive tons of bets throughout the United States. Louisiana, which borders Texas, has many Cowboys fans, so the legislature wants the industry to go live before September 9.
Sports betting is going to cause the state to earn a lot of money in tax revenue. SB 142 dealt with the financial distribution of sports betting revenue. Senator Rick Ward III sponsored the bill, and it was widely supported in the legislature.
According to the bill, 60% of the funds from sports betting will go towards the state’s general fund. Additionally, 25% will be allocated to early childhood programs, 12% to local businesses, 2% to gambling addiction programs, and 1% to the horsemen fund.
There will be 20 licenses granted in LA. All the permits will be awarded to current casinos and racinos. Each permit will include two online skins, so there could be 40 mobile betting providers in the state.
Mobile betting has dominated the United States, so this framework will be lucrative for Louisiana. The state lottery will be the governing body over sports wagering, and the tax rates will be set at 10% for retail and 15% for mobile betting.