Sports Betting Is Headed to Louisiana Voters
Sports betting passes and the measure is now headed to Governor John Bel Edwards' desk for his signature.
Once he signs it, this clears the way for the issue to show up on the November 3rd ballot. Each parish will decide if they want to legalize sports betting. But no tax structure has been set up yet. The mechanism for setting up sports betting parlors has also not been defined. There has been a lot of discussion about this taking place in casinos and at racetracks, but that will have to be specifically defined by future legislation.
A similar measure failed last year. Once voters in each parish decided how to proceed, lawmakers are expected to get to work during the legislative session in 2021 to set up the tax structure before the wagering can begin.
Many supporters say sports betting is going on illegally already and if it is legalized, the state can tax the bets to bring in some revenue. The measure passed in the House on a 72-23 vote and it passed 29-8 in the Senate.
Sports betting only will be legal in parishes where a majority of those casting ballots in the November election agree to it. But even in those parishes that authorize wagering, people interested in betting will have to wait a year or more to do so.
Additional legislation to create the licensing, regulation and tax structures would be required.
Here's how the issue will appear on your ballot:
Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of _____?
The State Gaming Control Board will regulate sports betting.
In 2018, voters in many Parishes approved fantasy sports, but the tax structure for that has not yet been set up.
Voters in Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto and Webster Parishes have all ok'd fantasy sports gaming. 47 of 64 parishes voted in favor of fantasy sports.