Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the final two bills of sports betting legislation into law on Tuesday: SB 247 — the state’s regulatory sports betting legislation and SB 142, which provides for the distribution of funds generated by sports wagering.
“SB 247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB 142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education,” Senate President Page Cortez (R-District 23), who was the sponsor of SB 247, said in a statement.
The governor’s signature caps off the legislative process for sports betting in Louisiana, which voters approved in November 2020. It will be legal in the 55 of 64 parishes that voted in favor of sports betting.
The bill allows the 15 licensed casinos in the state to serve as a home base for it. It allows the four racetracks in the state to use a license. And then it also allows one land based casino in New Orleans.
The state also approved mobile gaming partners to go along with those 20 licenses. Anyone over 21 in a parish that approved sports gambling as part of a 2020 ballot initiative will be able to place bets via their mobile devices.
The bill that relates to the tax structure, HB 697, also sets a sports betting licence for the Louisiana Lottery. Under this licence, the Lottery will be able to operate as an online sports betting platform and provide betting via kiosks at bars and restaurants.
If the state’s racetracks or casinos do not claim the 20 licenses by 1 January 2022, fantasy sports betting operators and video poker establishments may apply for the leftover licenses.
Under the tax bill, an initial application fee for a betting licence will cost $250,000 and there will be a $500,000 licence fee for the first five years. The bill also sets a 10% tax rate on land-based bets and a 15% tax rate for online betting.