Louisiana Legislators Pushes Bill to Allow Vote on Sports Betting

Louisiana Legislators Pushes Bill to Allow Vote on Sports Betting

The legislative committee of Louisiana advanced a bill on Tuesday that will let voters in the state decide if sports betting should be allowed in their respective parishes.

Louisiana’s sports betting history

Last year’s session had a bill by former state Sen. Danny Martiny, which was passed in the Senate. However, it could not do well in the House and several unfriendly amendments were added to the proposal. However, this Tuesday, the Senate judiciary committee has advanced Senate Bill 130. It had no objections and was passed after little discussion.

Louisiana Legislators Pushes Bill to Allow Vote on Sports Betting

The new measure is being sponsored by Sen. Cameron Henry. Ironically, Martiny accused him last year of unfair treatment towards the bill when he was chairing the House Appropriations. An identical measure is being advanced by Sen. Ronnie Johns.

Opponents object to the expansion of gaming

The state isn’t short of opponents who believe that gaming should not be expanded in the state. They suggest that even if tax rates are high, the cost of the measure will far outweigh its benefits. Proponents of the bill suggest that Louisiana casinos are an important source of revenue for the state and they must be provided an opportunity to compete with neighboring states. This is why the state needs a gambling expansion plan that could include legalized betting on sports.

Henry’s bill doesn’t limit sports betting to a specific set of properties. It also doesn’t define who will be allowed to bet legally and doesn’t set a tax rate for the service as well. It simply allows residents to vote if they want to have sports betting legalized in their respective parishes. Lawmakers earlier adopted a similar approach to legalize fantasy sports in the state, paving the way for sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. At the time, 47 of the 64 parishes in the state voted to legalize. The legislators then decided tax rates and regulations to make it legal in the state.

Martiny’s bill was attached to fantasy sports but it didn’t come to pass. Sen. Barrow Peacock warned that even if sports betting is legalized, it would be a tough task to get a two-third majority from the legislators to approve all the necessary taxes. This year’s regular session is non-fiscal in nature, which means that new taxes will not be approved until the next session. This will also hamper the fantasy sports regulation effort.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.