Louisiana sports gambling initiative inches another step forward
Only one more obstacle remains before state voters can determine whether or not to allow sports gambling
There’s good news for the gambling industry and gamblers in Louisiana. The process of legalizing sports betting moves forward another step. The Louisiana House of Representatives approved yesterday Senate Bill 130 (SB 130), which plans to take the final decision about legalizing sports betting to the voters from all 64 parishes. Now, the bill needs to go through one more step before being ready for November, which is the Governor’s signature. This should not be a problem since Governor John Bel Edwards was re-elected late last year and he has been supporting legal sports gambling in the state while in office.
The sponsor of this bill is Senator Cameron Henry and will ask voters the following question: “Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish, yes or no.” This is the bill that has moved along further in the process, other bills from Senator Ronnie Johns and Representative Tanner D. Magee had similar bills hat progressed through both chambers. This upcoming November, voters will have the opportunity to decide on this matter; however, if approved by the voters the bill still has to pass state laws that were established for the licensing, regulation and taxation of this activity. Another possibility that hasn’t been discarded yet is to have mobile sports betting.
Since tax issues are a matter of Louisiana’s legislature in odd-numbered years, sports betting could be further delayed if lawmakers don’t finalize the regulations next year. Louisiana’s gambling market already exists; there are casinos, riverboats and video poker machines; however, sports betting has always been a struggle. This is the third state to include a sports betting matter on this upcoming ballot; South Dakota and Maryland have already finalized the process and are just waiting for the ballot.