Louisiana Governor signs sports betting bill

Simona Boshkova | Published 16 Jun 2020, 9:48 a.m.

It seems like more and more US states are joining the list of states that include sports betting in their gambling offerings. About two weeks ago, we reported that the California Committee approved sports betting bill which foresees legalising both land-based and online sports betting through the state’s racetracks and tribal casino operators.

What’s more, Ohio is another state looking to legalise sports betting. The bill passed the House Finance Committee and it is expected that the Senate will also pass the sports betting bill into law.

Among these states is Louisiana where it was reported that the House of Representatives voted 72-32 and approved the sports betting legalisation. From there, the bill went to Governor John Bel Edwards for his signature. Now we’re bringing you the news that the Governor has signed the bill and the question of legalising sports betting in Louisiana will be on the November ballot.

The bill became Act No. 215

Now that Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the Senate Bill 130, the question of legalising sports betting will appear on the ballot of the November election. With this, voters in the state’s 64 parishes will have the final say on whether they want sports betting in Louisiana or not. Once the bill was signed by the Governor, it became Act No. 215.

The sports betting bill in Louisiana was introduced by Senator J Cameron Henry and allows parishes across the state to hold referendums on whether sports betting should be legalised or not. If the voters approve the bill, the Louisiana lawmakers and the Gaming Control Board will have to set out rules for sports betting licensing, regulation and taxes. In addition, the legislature could also consider mobile sports betting.

With this process, Louisiana becomes the third state to have a question about sports betting on the November ballot, along with South Dakota and Maryland. In November, Act No. 215 will ask voters the question ‘Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish’ and the voters should answer with yes or no.

Like almost every other US state, Louisiana is dealing with revenue decrease this period due to the closure of casinos.  Now that the Governor signed the sports betting bill, it is expected that the voters will approve it and that sports betting could boost revenue in the state. However, the first sports bets will likely take place in 2021.

Illinois Gaming Board approved master sports betting licences

Last week, the Illinois Gaming Board approved master sports betting licences for seven casinos, which are now able to start mobile sports betting in the state. So far, there isn’t any licenced online sportsbook that operates in Illinois.

The master licences that will be given to the casinos will last four years. Some of the casinos that will receive such licence include Argosy Casino Alton, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, and Hollywood Casino Aurora. The other casinos are Hollywood Casino Joliet, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Casino Queen in St. Louis, and Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria.

Together with the issuing of the master licences, the Gaming Board also started the 18-month clock on the so-called ‘penalty box’ requirement. This requirement anticipates that online operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel have to wait 18 months after the first master license is approved before they can offer sports betting in the state.

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