June 11, 2021 Sports Betting, Casino, Legal

Louisiana sports betting bill passes legislature, awaits governor’s signature

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Louisiana lawmakers finalized legislation Thursday that will bring sports betting to a majority of the state’s parishes.

Senate Bill 247, which regulates retail and mobile sports betting, passed through the Senate with an overwhelming 33-3 majority. Sponsored by Senate President Page Cortez (R-Lafayette), the bill authorizes 20 licenses for sportsbooks, with casinos and racetracks receiving first priority.

Any remaining licenses on January 1, 2022 will be given to fantasy sports betting operators or video poker establishments. Each license comes with two mobile skins.

Lawmakers have said they’d like a fall launch in time for football season.

The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards, who has previously signed companion sports betting legislation authorizing taxes and fees.

Louisiana presently has one land-based casino, Harrah’s New Orleans, four slots-only racetracks and more than a dozen riverboat casinos.

The legislation also will allow the Louisiana Lottery to operate sports betting kiosks at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. The Advocate reports the Louisiana Lottery plans to buy approximately 1,000 terminals for $16.4m.

Sportsbook license applications will cost $250,000, and approved operators would pay $500,000 for a five-year license.

Retail sports wager proceeds will be taxed at 10% while mobile and electronic device proceeds would receive a 15% tax. Bettors must be 21 years of age or older.

Voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved a sports betting referendum last November. Sports betting will only be available in parishes where the referendum passed. The state will use geofencing to enforce mobile sports betting apps.

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