After voters in 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana approved sports betting last November, the state legislature has begun the process of setting up the industry. The state legislature is now in session, and there is pressure to get something done in a hurry.
Before sports betting can launch in the state of Louisiana, the legislature must pass a pair of bills. One bill would determine the tax rate for sports betting revenue, while the other will create the rules and regulations for the industry.
Page Cortez, President of the Louisiana Senate, is the lead sponsor of a bill looking to establish sports betting rules. Cortez has stated that he believes Louisiana could eventually reach the $20 million mark for annual tax revenue, but it might take years before that happens.
Online wagering has been a big question mark of lawmakers looking to pass sports betting rules, and Cortez favors this form of betting. He is not in favor of using sports betting tax dollars to fund education, which might draw some criticism from other lawmakers.
Details of Two Bills
There are two bills, SB 195 and SB 202, that have already been brought to the table in Louisiana. SB 195 would limit online sports betting to wagers placed only when at the site of a retail sports betting location.
SB 202 would create a true online sports betting market in Louisiana and would also allow for a wide range of properties to apply for a license. Places that offer video poker could apply for a license, and each of these properties would be granted two skins.
Only one of these bills will eventually emerge as the winner, and deciding which one to focus on could take some time.
DFS Provided Some Hiccups
Lawmakers in the state hope that the process to legalize online sports betting goes much smoother than it did when discussing Daily Fantasy Sports. That experience should help the state legislature navigate this issue much quicker, but nothing is certain until a deal is passed.
Voters in Louisiana approved legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports in November 2018, but that didn’t lead to the industry going live that next year. Several issues popped up in discussions, and lawmakers could not agree on the regulations.
It wasn’t until December 2020 that DFS games were legal and regulated in the state.
Superdome Getting New Name?
If sports betting launches in Louisiana, look for Caesars to be one of the leaders in the new industry. Caesars owns and operates the Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans, which is the only land-based property in the state.
This company is not only looking to take over the sports betting industry, but it is also attempting to tie itself to the most popular team in the state. According to reports, Caesars and the New Orleans Saints are nearing a deal for the naming rights to the Superdome.
Reports have stated that this will be a 20-year deal, with $10 million payments from Caesars to the Saints annually. If approved, this would be the first time a gaming company will have naming rights to an NFL stadium.