Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana has signed a law that establishes tax rates for sports betting in the state. This brings Louisiana closer to being the only state in the immediate area to provide mobile sports betting, potentially by the start of football season.
Edwards signed Rep. John Stefanski’s House Bill 697 earlier this month (R). Act No. 80, as it is now known, imposes a 10% tax on sports bets placed inside casinos and other locations where gambling is permitted, such as bars. If a bet is placed on a smartphone or computer, the tax rate is 15%.
Members of the House and Senate Conference Committees were constituted on Wednesday to try to reach an agreement on revisions to Senate Law 247, a major bill in the sports-betting package.
SB 247 is a bill that would regulate sports betting in California. It would allow bets to be placed in person at casinos, as well as bets to be placed on mobile devices such as cellphones and PCs. Senate President and Republican Page Cortez is a co-sponsor of the measure.
Voters in 55 of the 64 parishes authorized sports betting within their parish boundaries in November.
Last year’s ballot question did not clarify whether gamblers may use their smartphones to place wagers. During this legislative session at the Capitol, lawmakers will have to decide on that.
The two-month term, which began in April, will finish at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
WBRZ-TV, a Baton Rouge television station, has previously partnered with VSiN in Las Vegas to provide sports betting odds and information.
If mobile sports betting is legalized as expected in this session, Louisiana would be the only state in the region to provide legal mobile sports betting.
In the neighboring states of Arkansas and Mississippi, Internet betting is legal, but only if the wager is placed on casino land. However, neither state’s casinos provide this service.
Sports betting might be available by the fall if current legislation is approved. Louisiana is a sports fan’s paradise, with the NFL’s Saints and the NBA’s Pelicans both based in New Orleans. Fans of college football teams, such as the Louisiana State University Tigers in Baton Rouge, are equally fervent.
Senate Bill 209, proposed by Cortez, the Senate president from Lafayette, would allow for another type of betting in Louisiana. The law would allow the state to have historical horse racing gambling machines.