Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Detail view of LSU Tigers helmets after the LSU Tigers defeated the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Bringing sports betting to Louisiana slowly advances

They’re finally getting started on bringing legal sports betting to the state of Louisiana.

Back in November, 2020 Louisiana was one of three states that voted to legalize sports betting on election. The other two states were South Dakota and Maryland. Both have made progress and have passed bills already. In Louisiana they finally got started last week.

How is bringing sports betting to Louisiana coming along?

Last week the Louisiana House ways and Means Committee approved Representative John Stefanksi’s HB 697. The bill covers fees and taxes that would be placed on legal sports betting in the state. [ More sports betting legalization news in Louisiana ]

Stefanki’s bill is one of at least three bills that will need to be approved to get sports betting legalized in the state. Two other bills currently on the table, SB 195 and SB 202 outline the state’s proposed sports betting regulations.

SB 202 does most of the heavy lifting, proposing no more than 20 licenses with 15 going to licensed riverboards, four to horse racing tracks and one to the state’s land-based casino. Any of those 20 licenses not used by those entities could pass to video poker establishments and fantasy sports operators. Each operator would also be allowed to run up to two mobile betting skins through their license.

Stefanski’s bill would see the 20 licensees pay a $250,000 application fee to apply for their license and a $500,000 license fee that would need to be renewed every five years. The bill would also levy a 10 percent tax on revenue from brick and mortar sportsbooks and an 18 percent tax on mobile betting revenue.

Despite the ball finally rolling on sports betting in Louisiana it’s estimated Louisiana residents won’t be able to place their first legal bet until sometime in 2022.

This isn’t the first time Louisiana has dragged its heels on getting gambling legalized. In 2018 Louisiana residents voted to legalized daily fantasy sports. Following lengthy delays due to the failure of a taxation bill and other delays brought on by the state’s Gaming Control Board, applications for daily fantasy sports operators finally opened in February, 2021, with a future launch date still to be announced.