What Comes Next For Louisiana Sports Betting Push After Legislative Green Light

Written By Matthew Kredell on May 28, 2020
Louisiana sports betting

Voters will get to decide if they want Louisiana sports betting this November.

The House voted 71-24 to pass a Louisiana sports betting referendum bill on Wednesday. The Senate passed the bill two weeks earlier.

The Louisiana House passed its sports betting legislation last week with additional language, making it unclear which would be the vehicle to make the ballot.

But before the House acted on that legislation, the Senate gave final passage to S 130 sponsored by Sen. Cameron Henry.

Henry indicated that H 357 might have a new life, amended to address daily fantasy sports. A majority of Louisiana parishes approved legal DFS in 2018.

Louisiana sports betting ballot language

The law puts a referendum to authorize sports wagering on the ballot in all 64 Louisiana parishes. The statewide election is Nov. 3.

The question appearing on the ballot is as follows:

“Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of _____?”

The bill provides that the Louisiana Gaming Control Board would have regulatory authority over sports wagering.

If adopted in at least one parish, sports betting could be legal in that parish. But first, the Louisiana Legislature needs to pass two more bills next session regarding the licensing, regulation, and taxation of sports wagering.

A fractured parish-by-parish model

Voters in November won’t decide if they want statewide Louisiana sports betting. Their vote only counts for if they want sports betting in their parish.

It’s likely that voters in most but not all parishes will approve sports wagering. This will set up a fractured state for legal sports betting, much like the map of the US.

Louisiana has 20 state-regulated casinos and three tribal ones. Parishes with casinos figure to be in support of adding sports betting.

But other parishes could benefit from sports wagering if lawmakers opt to allow for mobile betting in enabling legislation next year.

In a 2018 vote, 47 of 64 parishes approved daily fantasy sports.

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Matthew Kredell

Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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