Louisiana Governor Signs Sports Betting Bills Into Law

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Gov. John Bel Edwards has cleared the path for a timely launch of Louisiana sports betting by signing the final two sports betting bills into law.

On Tuesday, the governor signed SB 247 – the regulatory aspect of sports betting and SB 142 – which defines the distribution of funds generated from the industry.

Edwards’ signatures pave the way for the potential candidates to apply for sportsbook licenses for in-person betting and mobile betting in Sugar State.

The governor had already signed HB 697 – the first of the three sports betting bills – on June 4. That bill establishes the taxes and fees for Louisiana sports betting.

With Edwards’ signatures, Louisiana sports betting completes its legislative journey kickstarted by state voters nearly seven months back. In November 2020, voters from 55 of 64 parishes voted in favor of sports betting. Those 55 parishes could be able to place legal wagers as soon as the upcoming NFL.

Louisiana Voters’ Wishes Fulfilled

The legislation goes into effect on Thursday, July 1, with the hope to launch by the football season this fall – Sept. 9.

The legislature had sent the bills to the governor on June 10, a chaotic but eventful day that saw SB 247 concurred by the Senate. On June 3, Louisiana House approved SB 247 by 78-15. Senate had earlier passed the bill on May 19 by 31-6.

Senate President, who sponsored SB 247, said, “SB 247 fulfills the desires of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved sports betting last fall and SB 142 will help direct funding derives from the industry to early childhood education.”

What’s Next?

The Gaming Control Board can now start preparing rules and considering applications. Louisiana sports betting provides for 20 licenses for the 15 casinos and 5 racinos in the state. Each of those licenses includes a retail sportsbook and up to two digital skins.

Since the Louisiana Lottery can also have one online skin, the state can see as many as 41 mobile platforms in the future. The lottery is also authorized to provide local bars and restaurants with a kiosk.

Each casino (or racino) will have to pay $500,000 for a five-year license.

Retail bets will be levied at 10% and online bets will be taxed at 15% on the net proceeds, payable by the primary licensees on the amount left over after bets are covered.

A Considerable Market

Many potential sportsbook operators – including FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars – contributed to the Louisiana Wins election campaign. The number of skins available may attract many more.

In addition, Louisiana Lottery has an existing partnership with Intralot, which may mature into a sports betting partnership. However, Intralot’s sports betting partnership with DC Lottery has shown disappointing figures over the months.

Louisiana is a mid-size state, with 4.6 million. With 5.7 million residents, Colorado sports betting saw a $244.5 million in April handle.

Mississippi and Texas residents may also contribute to Louisiana sports betting figures for some time to come. Mississippi is restricted to retail betting, while Texas has yet to legalize the industry, which may take a few years at the earliest.

Louisiana sports betting legalization began in early April, nearly 5 months after 55 of 64 parishes voted to approve the industry in a referendum.

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