If all goes well, Louisiana may potentially legalize sports betting in the state during today’s House of Representatives legislative session.

Yesterday the Louisiana Senate passed SB 142, a bill to provide for the disposition of funds generated by sports wagering, by a vote of 33-3, paving the way for a possible legalization of sports betting. One final bill, SB 247, remains to be approved by the House of Representatives before Louisiana’s sports betting fate can be decided by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.

SB 247 will provide for the regulation of sports betting in the state. It is currently on today’s legislative agenda for floor debate and a possible vote.

Louisiana online sports betting legalization is in sight

The end is near for the state’s sports betting journey after countless bill passages and committee meetings to design the current Louisiana online sports betting program. Several concurrent bills were passed by both the house and the senate to set the number of allowable sports betting licenses, the tax rate for sports betting and determining the allocation of funds brought in from sports betting.

If SB 247 is approved and the sports betting program is signed into law by Gov. Edwards, the state launch could come by the start of the NFL season.

If approved, the proposal will allow for 20 sports betting licenses, one each for the the state’s 15 riverboat casinos, four racinos and one land-based casino. Each license will also include two mobile licenses, which could mean a potential of 41 “skins” for Louisiana online sports betting. The one additional skin would be allotted to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.

Gaming facilities would pay an initial application fee of $250,000 and then a $500,000 franchise fee that would cover the facilities for five years. Interested parties applying for a sports betting license would also be required to have a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

The tax bill sets the in-person sports betting tax rate at 10% and the online sports betting tax rate at 15%.

Facilities with Class A liquor licenses applying for a sports betting kiosk would only be required to pay an initial application fee of $1,000 and a permit fee of $100 for one year.

Businesses could offer sports betting through the lottery

Under the bill, facilities with Class-A onsite consumption liquor licenses can receive a mobile wagering device, called a kiosk, to allow patrons to participate in online sports betting while in their facility. This would be run under the purveyance of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and revenue would be taxed at 10%.

Sports betting revenue taken in from the Louisiana Lottery Corporation would support K-12 education, as well as see the creation of a separate sub-fund to support developmentally disabled students in the state.

55 of 64 Louisiana parishes voted in favor of legalized sports betting in the state during the 2020 general election. By law, the parishes that rejected sports betting will be prohibited from participating in any form of sports betting within their own parish boundary. No restaurants or bars in these parishes would be permitted to apply for sports betting kiosks through the lottery.