Louisiana’s two-year journey to legalize sports betting is almost over.
Louisiana’s sports betting implementation bill has now passed both legislative chambers, but it still has another step to take before heading to the governor’s desk.
The Louisiana House made technical amendments to S 247 on Thursday before passing the bill 78-15. That means the bill needs to return to the Senate for concurrence.
However, Rep. John Stefanski told PlayLouisiana that Senate President Page Cortez, the bill’s sponsor, approved the chances in his amendment. That should make concurrence a mere formality.
Stefanski leads way on House floor
Stefanski already sponsored the sports betting taxation and lottery participation bill that garnered full legislative approval.
However, he didn’t see that as the end of his work on the issue. He worked closely all session with the Senate President and championed his bill on the House floor.
Stefanski was proud to answer the call of his constituents. Last November, 55 of 64 Louisiana parishes voted for sports betting.
“Carrying one of the bills was important to me because it’s important to citizens of the state,” Stefanski said. “Citizens want it, so I wanted to make sure it became a reality. I’m glad it worked out.”
Details for Louisiana sports betting legislation
The Louisiana sports betting bills:
- Appoint the Louisiana Gaming Control Commission to oversee sports betting.
- Allows the Louisiana Lottery Corporation to contract with one operator for a sportsbook app.
- Authorizes wagering on professional sports, college sports, Olympic and international competition, and esports.
- Permits bars and restaurants with a liquor license to obtain sports betting kiosks. Most of these entities already offer video poker machines.
- Taxes online wagering at 15% and in-person wagering at 10%.
- Casinos pay $500,000 for a five-year license with a $250,000 application fee.
- Platform providers pay $100,000 to apply for a five-year license that costs $50,000.
- Service providers pay $50,000 to apply for a five-year license that costs $25,000.
- The nine parishes that didn’t vote for sports betting must be geofenced out by online applications.
- Louisiana tribal casinos don’t receive mention in any of the bills. However, they would get sports betting because may offer the same games as casinos.
Completing the Louisiana sports betting efforts
Sports betting is coming to Louisiana this year. It’s just a matter of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.
Cortez’s bill will soon become the second piece of sports betting legislation to hit the governor’s desk this year. Stefanski also expects to handle Sen. Rick Ward’s sports betting revenue allocation bill when it comes over to the House.
Lawmakers held how to divvy up the sports betting revenue to last. The Louisiana legislative session ends June 10.
“Some members want all the money to go to early childhood education, and some don’t want that at all,” Stefanski said. “It’s always an engaging conversation when money is involved.”
Louisiana lawmakers know they will hear from some angry constituents if sports betting isn’t live by football season. That’s why lawmakers added language to allow a licensee to launch its mobile application before completing its physical sportsbook.
“I’m very optimistic we’ll have sports betting in Louisiana by the NFL season,” Stefanski said. “I think with this provisional language, we can be up by football season, I really do.”