Governor John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law on June 22 and welcomed sports betting to the state.
Senate Bill 247 provides for the regulation for sports wagering, and Senate Bill 142 provides for the disposition of funds generated by sports wagering.
Although the legalization of sports betting in Louisiana has been in the works for a few years already, the two signed bills bring hope that people will be able to start betting this autumn. Last year, 64 parishes had a chance to vote on this matter, and 55 of them voted in favor of legalizing sports betting.
Senate President Page Cortez, a sponsor of SB 247, commented: “SB 247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering, and SB 142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education.”
The governor already signed House Bill 697 on June 4, which establishes betting fees and taxes. Under its provisions, retail sportsbooks have to pay a 10% tax on net proceeds, and online betting venues have to pay 15%. The bill also sets up the “Sports Wagering Enforcement Fund,” which will only be accessible to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
To run a sportsbook, companies will need to pay an application fee of $250,000; if they get approved, there will also be a $500,000 license fee, and the license is valid for five years. The online sportsbook application fee costs another $100,000, while the platform provider permit comes with a fee of $250,000.
Once sports wagering begins bringing in profits, tax revenue from it is estimated to reach around $20 million a year. Of course, betting will only be allowed within those parishes that voted in its favor.