Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a law allowing each parish to vote on sports betting. Gov. Edwards signed the bill on June 11, and Louisiana parishes will be voting on legalized sports betting in the November election.
The bill was initially introduced by Sen. SB130, allowing parishes to hold a referendum for sports betting. If the bill passes on November 3, then Louisiana lawmakers and the Gaming Control Board will set rules for taxing, licensing, and regulation in 2021.
The state of Louisiana has 64 parishes, and each will decide if they want sports betting there or not.
Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports
The signature of SB130 is significant for the state of Louisiana. In 2018, voters approved to allow regulated daily fantasy sports in the state. 47 of the 64 parishes voted in favor of it. However, setting up regulations and taxes for Daily Fantasy Sports hasn’t been easy.
The passing of DFS happened two years ago, and Louisiana is still setting it up. If sports betting is approval happens in November, then this could be a multi-year process for the state before it’s operating.
Right now, the state is taxing Daily Fantasy sports eight percent, so sports betting could also be around that number. Also, sports betting legislation could move a lot quicker because of the larger impact it would have on the state’s economy.
Another thing, sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel will have to apply for licensing when the state figures out the sports betting legislation. The state will need to figure out how to get licensing approval for sportsbooks if the process takes multiple years before an official launch.
There are a lot of positives moving forward for the state to legalize sports betting. However, with how state legislators are handling DFS is a bit of a concern. Parishes just need to vote yes in November and go from there.
Passing sports betting in Louisiana could help boost state revenue. Right now, Louisiana and other states across the country are being struck financially by COVID-19.
Adding sports betting as another stream of revenue for the state might help bridge the gap. In Louisiana, casinos opened up about a month ago, and are bringing in some gaming revenue. However, legalizing sports betting will only increase that number in the gaming industry.
There is a chance that the boost from sports betting might not come anytime soon. The plan was to pass the bill in 2019, but state politics were holding it up in the House and Senate. It took until the middle of 2020 before Louisiana finally got the approval for the November 3 election.
One thing that could help the state is passing mobile betting in November. Right now, neighboring states Arkansas and Mississippi allow sports wagering in their state. However, mobile betting is not active in both states. Arkansas and Mississippi are missing out on potential revenue as their casinos are closed due to the Coronavirus.
If legalizing sports betting happens in Louisiana, then the state should consider mobile betting right off the bat. This could help generate more revenue if people can place bets on their couch.
If everything works out for Louisiana, then sports betting should launch in 2021. Legislators need to hash out regulations as soon as sports betting passes.