Louisiana House approves sports betting bill

Simona Boshkova | Published 8 Jun 2021, 10:57 a.m.

It seems like there’s a new US state coming up with legal sports betting each week. For example, last week we shared news about the sports betting situation in Florida and California, and now it’s time for Louisiana.

Louisiana has taken a step closer to legal sports betting after Governor John Bel Edwards signed a sports betting bill. Namely, Edwards signed the HB 697 bill, just a few days after the SB 247 bill passed the House. The Senate Bill still needs some amendments before it moves to the Governor’s desk.

Details about the sports betting bills

At the moment, there are two sports betting bills in Louisiana - House Bill 697 and Senate Bill 247. As mentioned above, Gov. Edwards signed HB 697 which sets out tax rates, licencing fees, and similar requirements. 

Key provisions in the bill include taxing retail bets and online bets at 10% and 18% respectively. Moreover, there will be a $250,000 application fee for operating licences, as well as a  $500,000 fee on receipt of the licence itself. Plus, sports betting providers would need a unique licence, attached with a $100,000 application fee and a $250,000 fee upon receipt.

On the other hand, SB 247 passed the Louisiana House on a vote of 78-15. According to the bill, bettors will be able to place wagers on different sporting events online, in casinos, or at kiosks in bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages. Lawmakers hope that sports betting will become legal in Louisiana by football season.

When Edwards sign the second bill, the next step would be for the Gaming Control Board to start checking applications. From what we know so far, only the 20 existing casinos can apply for the base licences. Each casino will be able to licence two providers that will deliver online sports betting.

West Virginia saw sports betting revenue increase in May

In the meantime, many US states have reported their handle and revenue figures for May, including West Virginia. When it comes to sports betting, West Virginia saw a revenue increase up nearly 38%. On the other hand, the sports betting handle for May was $25.5 million, which is down 3.8% from April.

Regarding the revenue, West Virginia received $2.7 million, which is up 37.7% from April ($1.95 million) and up 396.7% from May 2020 ($541,188). Furthermore, the state’s share of taxes was $228,485, up from April’s figures of $165,922.

This revenue increase is due to the partnership between The Greenbrier and FanDuel’s online app. The Greenbrier is the fourth online casino to go live in West Virginia. 

Thanks to FanDuel’s app, users are now able to play slots, blackjack, roulette and other games, both on Android and Apple devices. Apart from West Virginia, the app is also live in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey.