Louisiana is on its way to getting sports betting launched and has taken another massive step forward as the State House has advanced House Bill 697, a bill that creates regulations and sets the tax rate for sports betting in the state. In November of 2020, 55 of 64 parishes, what Louisiana calls counties, legalized sports betting. Now, the Lousiana legislature is facing the task of implementing sports betting through a series of bills.
Representative John Stefanski was the author of this bill, and in a quote provided by Businessreport.com, he simply said “The People Spoke” when asked about the bill. It is nice to see that the State Congress is trying to act with more haste than it did with daily fantasy sports in regards to setting up the guidelines and getting it launched following the vote to legalize.
One thing that will make the legislative process, as well as the launch process, slightly more difficult is the fact that sports betting will still be banned in 9 parishes. This means that when it comes to mobile wagering, the geotagging needs to be precise as not to let someone wager in a parish that still prohibits sports betting.
Tax Rate & HB697 Details
If HB697 were to pass, it would mean that there would be a 10% tax on all net proceeds of operators; that tax would reach 18% for those operating mobile sports betting applications. This is quite a significant difference between a flat retail rate and a mobile rate, but it is not outrageous enough to deter big operators like DraftKings, BetMGM, or FanDuel from joining the state.
An interesting feature of this bill is sports betting kiosks that are run by the Louisiana Lottery. These kiosks can be placed in bars and restaurants. This means that smaller brick and mortar businesses can also see a benefit from legalized sports betting. In Louisana, many bars and restaurants all ready run video poker machines or other gambling operations.
When it comes to where the tax revenue will go, the bill highlights some locations. Thirty percent of the revenue will go specifically to those with developmental disabilities and special education. The majority of the money will go to educational funds in the state to help public and private schools.
The House bill passed in a whopping 77-24 vote and will now head to the Senate to hopefully be put into law. However, this is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to sports betting. Senate Bill 202 is another major piece, and this is the bill that establishes licensing. In the bill’s current form, there would be 20 operator licenses in Louisiana.
Both of these bills need to pass in both the House and Senate and then head to the Governor to be put into law. Once this step is achieved, there may still be some minor bills that need to get passed to round out the sports betting legality process.
Louisiana may soon be getting sports betting, and it could launch much quicker than we think.