Louisiana considering sports betting legalisation

Viktor Vangelov | Published 18 May 2020, 3:41 p.m.

Long gone are the days when the United States wasn’t included in gambling news. After all, there wasn’t a lot to discuss there, most forms of gambling in the states have been prohibited, especially after PASPA and the UIGEA of 2006. However, in the past several years, particularly this year and last year, many states moved towards legalisation and there are certain states where it is already possible to place bets on sport.

Last week we reported on two states that have moved in that direction. Maryland is going to held a plebiscite on sports betting in November, and the state is looking forward to the extra revenue if the citizens decide to legalise sports betting.

Virginia and Michigan have also moved in a similar direction, we have also given betting updates on the situation in these two states. Virginia Lottery has launched a microsite where it is possible to wager on slots and other casino games, as well as sports bets.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has now allowed betting on horse-racing online via computers and mobile phones. And now we’re going to see what has been going on in Louisiana and the developments there.

Citizens of Louisiana will be voting in November

Louisiana is the next state in line to legalise sports betting. And similar to Maryland, Louisiana is also going to put forward a proposal to vote on the legalisation of sports betting.

The State Senate last Wednesday approved a bill that will put the question on the ballot in all 64 parishes in Louisiana. South Dakota has also put forward a similar proposal.

The bill in question is called SB 130 and it is sponsored by Senator Henry. This bill was supposed by 29 senators, while 8 were opposed. The question that people will be asked on the ballot will be whether citizens agree sports betting to be allowed in their parish. There was a similar bill, this one sponsored by Ronnie Johns was also passed by the Senate.

Another house bill, almost identical to those two put forward in the Senate has also been put forward. This bill is called HB 357 and it will be considered by the House Committee that deals with these issues. Once the bill is passed it will be sent to Governor Bel Edwards. He is a proponent of gambling and he was elected for a second time last November.

Looking at betting legalisation in 2021 or 2022

The current Louisiana legislative session is scheduled to end on the first of June. A year ago, similar bills have already been proposed in the State House and Senate, but they faced opposition in the House. It is interesting to note that issue that have an effect on tax issues are discussed only in odd years, so the next possible option to discuss the matter would be 2021.

People would have to vote in favour of the proposal this November before it can be heard in 2021. If all goes according to plan and the proposal gains support, sports betting in the state can be legalised late in 2021 or in early 2022.

Certain forms gambling in Louisiana are already legal, such as casinos, video poker machines and riverboats, but sports betting has been a challenge. Mississippi and Arkansas, two neighbouring states of Louisiana have already legalised sports betting and it is expected that Louisiana might take a similar approach.