Louisiana House approved sports betting, another step before final passage

Louisiana bettors got a step closer to being able to start wagering on sporting events by fall if the governor approves the second of two bills that is about to clear the Legislature.

Senate Bill 247, which sets up the protocols and oversight, passed the Louisiana House on Thursday night on a vote of 78-15. But Rep. John Stefanski, the House sponsor of the Senate-passed legislation, attached last-minute amendments that he said were worked out with Senate sponsors. But that means the measure needs to return to the upper chamber for it to concur with that additional language.

The other necessary instrument is House Bill 697, which sets up taxes and fees; it passed last week and already sits on the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes — with nearly two-thirds of the voters statewide approving — chose to participate. Before residents can actually place a bet on a sporting event, legislators need to pass laws that set up how it would be done. That’s what these two bills do.

Under the language combined in SB247 and HB697, bettors can place wagers on football games or other sporting events on smartphones, in casinos, or at kiosks in bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages — hopefully by football season. Should Edwards sign the two bills, as expected, the next step would be for the Gaming Control Board to produce some rules and start vetting applications.

Only the 20 existing casinos can apply for the base licenses, and all of them already are known entities to the state and have been vetted. State authorities likely would update their existing license investigations. Each casino will be able to… Continue Reading Full Story>>>

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