Bill would only authorize wagering at Louisiana racinos
Legal Sports Report

Could Louisiana Get Sports Betting? New Bill Would Legalize Single-Game Wagering

Louisiana sports betting 2018

Sports betting on Bourbon Street? Well, maybe not, but Louisiana is the latest state to introduce a bill that would legalize sports gambling.

Louisiana is one of many states with a sports betting bill ahead of a potential striking down of the federal single-game wagering ban by the US Supreme Court.

A look at the Louisiana sports betting bill

The new bill — H 245 — surfaced this week. What does it do?

It would expand gaming at “eligible live horse racing facilities,” including sports wagering, by amending existing gaming law. It would appear to cover the state’s four racinos:

  • Delta Downs
  • Evangeline Downs
  • Fair Grounds
  • Louisiana Downs

The bill does not authorize mobile or online sports wagering.

For the purposes of the bill, sports wagering can take place “on any type of sports event, including but not limited to football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, tennis, wrestling, jai alai, or other sports contest or event.”

Regulation falls under the purview of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

The bill also calls for a referendum to authorize gambling in any parish where it might take place:

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no gaming activities shall be allowed in an eligible facility in any parish unless the operation and conducting of gaming activities pursuant to this Chapter has first been approved at an election held for such purpose.

The climate for Louisiana sports betting

Louisiana has a wide array of gaming already in place, including riverboat casinos and tribal gaming facilities. It’s not clear how successful an effort only to authorize wagering at the racinos might be.

Louisiana is also one of the few states where daily fantasy sports is generally accepted to be illegal.

Last month, officials had sounded tepid on possible sports betting legalization.

Just one of many states…

Most of the movement on possible sports betting regulation has taken place in the East and Midwest so far. We’re approaching two dozen states that have considered sports betting in the past calendar year.

Mississippi took steps last year to legalize wagering, but follow-up action has been slow in 2018.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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