ouisiana’s governor has approved an 8% tax rate on fantasy sports betting in about four dozen parishes that legalized it in 2018.
The competitions for online cash prizes couldn’t begin until the state set the rules and tax rate. The legislation (H.B. 64) was among several tax bills pitched as coronavirus recovery measures by Louisiana’s Republican-led Legislature to secure approval from Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Monday, Bloomberg reports.
Edwards approved regulations for fantasy sports betting last month. The 8% tax rate will apply to the net revenue for all fantasy sports contests.
Furthermore, the governor approved several tax breaks. One of the largest that lawmakers proposed in their 30-day special session last month benefits Louisiana’s gambling industry. That legislation (S.B. 5), which Edwards signed, allows for $5 million of net gaming proceeds attributable to promotional play wagers to be deducted from gaming operator revenue—subject to taxes and fees—for riverboat casinos, land-based casinos, and racetrack slot machines.
Edwards has ordered cabinet agencies to prepare for possible mid-year budget cuts by putting aside 10% of their budgets. He recommended the same measures to the state’s judicial and legislative branches, and he enacted a hiring freeze for state employees.
“While there are cuts in the budget, federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding allowed us to avoid making them even more catastrophic,” Edwards said in a July 8 statement.