Hope not yet lost for Louisiana sports betting

Louisiana could revisit the prospect of legalising sports betting this year, it was revealed recently.

Trying again 

Attempts were made to pass Senate Bill 153 last year, which would’ve regulated the vertical here. The bill was approved 3-1, with the only vote against coming from Sen. Karen Carter Peterson. She had admitted to suffering from gambling addiction in the past.

After this, the bill was sent to the Louisiana House to be considered further. However, it was eventually rejected and nothing materialised.

This year, however, that might change. The next spring session begins on March 9th, 2020 and has a vocal supporter for gambling development in the southern US state. That comes in the form of re-elected Republican Governor Edwards.

Edwards has made it clear that he supports local casinos being allowed to open their own sportsbooks, along with trying to keep operators in Louisiana.

But if the bill was to be passed, matters related to tax would still need to be sorted. According to local law, bills where taxes are regulated can only be looked at once every two years. The next session is in 2021, hence why legislation was originally put forward last year.

Gambling regulation in Louisiana 

At the moment, online gambling is banned in Louisiana. While these laws forbid players from betting through these means, they’re mainly aimed at snuffing out unregulated operators.

When the prospect of sports betting was originally discussed in the state, online casino was proposed too. However, this was snuffed out.

Some forms of land-based gambling are legal at the moment, such as casino and horse racing. Wagering is also permitted on riverboats.

Two of Louisiana’s neighbouring states, Arkansas and Mississippi, have legalised sports wagering. Texas considered doing so, but for now that’s not going to happen.