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Louisiana Governor signs off on sports betting bills


Regulated sportsbooks could launch in Louisiana by the fall after Governor John Bel Edwards signed two bills into law yesterday (Tuesday).

Senate Bill 247, sponsored by Senate President Patrick Page Cortez, and SB142, from Senator Rick Ward III, were signed off after being passed on the final day of the state’s legislative session earlier this month. Both bills passed after going to a conference committee, when the upper chamber rejected amendments put forward in the House of Representatives.

The Governor’s approval has paved the way for as many as 41 sportsbooks to launch in the state, with multiple reports suggesting several will target the start of the new NFL season in September.

Governor Edwards had already signed into law House Bill 697, which determined taxes and license fees for operators launching sportsbooks.

The bill outlined how the Louisiana State Lottery can offer sports betting, as long as it pays 30% of gross proceeds back to the state. With two licenses available to each of the 20 casinos operating in the state, this would allow up to 41 different sports betting services to operate in the market.

There will be a 10% gross revenue tax for retail betting, rising to 18% for online, as well as a $250,000 fee for operator license applications, then an additional $500,000 charge upon receipt of the license itself.

The state’s path towards legal wagering was laid by a parish-by-parish referendum that took place in November 2020, in which voters in 55 of 64 backed sports betting.

“SB247 fulfils the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education,” Cortez said.