Final Louisiana Sports Betting Bills Receive Governor’s Signature

Posted on June 22, 2021
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Written By on June 22, 2021

Louisiana sports betting is on its way to launch as Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the final pieces of legislation into law Tuesday.

The main regulatory and appropriation bills for Louisiana sports betting, SB 247 and SB 142, join the already signed tax and fee structure bill, HB 697. The bills set up the main framework for retail and mobile sports betting, which could launch this fall according to legislative sponsors.

The governor’s signature caps off the legislative process for sports betting in Louisiana, which voters approved in November 2020. It will be legal in the 55 of 64 parishes that voted in favor of sports betting.

Who gets a Louisiana sports betting license?

Senate President Patrick Page Cortez sponsored the main regulatory bill that provides for 20 licenses for the state’s 20 casinos and racinos. Each of those licenses includes a retail sportsbook and up to two online skins.

Rep. John Stefanski sponsored the tax and fee structure bill, which also includes a license for the Louisiana Lottery. The license allows for the lottery to operate as an online platform while providing local bars and restaurants with a kiosk.

Operator partnerships lining up?

With 41 skins available in the state, it is likely most sportsbook operators will be active in the state. Many major sportsbook operators have connections to the casinos in Louisiana.

Casino and racino operators:

  • Boyd Gaming
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Penn National Gaming
  • Bally’s Corp.
  • Churchill Downs Inc. 
  • Golden Nugget

Boyd, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Penn National contributed to the Louisiana Wins election campaign. Other multistate operators are likely to take a swing at the Bayou State, including Fox Bet, PointsBet, theScore and WynnBet.

Another Intralot-lottery sports betting combo?

Louisiana Lottery has an existing partnership with Intralot that could extend to sports betting. It will not be the first lottery partnership for Intralot, which has struggled with the GambetDC platform in Washington D.C., as well as in Montana.

Despite its District-wide monopoly for mobile sports betting DCGambetDC accounts for approximately 25% of the handle since the May 2020 launch of sports betting through April. Since its retail sportsbook at Capital One Arena opened in July 2020William Hill generated 74.8% of the total handle in D.C., adding an app that is geofenced to a two-block radius in January.

BetMGM recently launched in DC through its partnership with the Washington Nationals.

What those operators are looking at

Louisiana is the definition of a mid-size state, sitting at No. 25 in population with 4.6 million people. With 5.7 million people, Colorado sports betting recorded a $244.5 million handle in April.

With an NBA and NFL team in New Orleans and a major college football program at LSU, there are plenty of fans to reach. Caesars is lined up to take on the naming rights at the Superdome.

However, with Mississippi sports betting still relegated to retail sportsbooks and Texas punting on sports betting until 2023, border state residents could boost Louisiana’s sports betting figures. Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth put more than 14 million people within a three-hour drive of the Louisiana border.

All about the LA sports betting money

Stefanski’s bill establishes a $250,000 initial application free with a $500,000 license fee for the first five years. The bill also dictates a 10% tax on retail bets and a 15% tax on online bets.

Stefanski believes Louisiana can generate up to $20 million annually from sports betting.

Senator Rick Ward‘s SB 142 appropriates the tax money generated by sports betting in Louisiana:

  • 25% to the Early Childhood Education Fund, up to $20 million
  • 10% to the Sports Wagering Local Allocation Fund
  • 2.5% to the Sports Wagering Purse Supplement Fund
  • 2% to the Behavioral Health and Wellness Fund, or $500,000, whichever is greater
  • 2% to the Disability Affairs Trust Fund, up to $500,000
  • The rest goes to the general fund
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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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