Louisiana’s Sports Betting Referendum Bill is Signed by Governor

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Sports Betting French Quarter

The Louisiana sports betting referendum bill, Senate Bill 130, has officially been signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards. While this bill doesn’t move legalized sports betting forward into action, it does give voters a chance to share their opinion on the topic when voting in November.

The referendum will be found on the November election ballot and, if all goes well, it could mean that legalized sports betting will go live as early as the fall of 2021.

Parishes Will Have Their Say

The way that the referendum works in Louisiana is that each of the 64 parishes in the state will have a say if they are in favor or not of legalized sports betting rather than a state-wide blanket decision.

Where the state legislature would step in is with getting the tax rate and regulations set up for the industry. At the same time, the state has indicated that it is willing to consider mobile sports betting as an additional option.

What doesn’t bode well for Louisiana is the fact it has taken two years to set up the tax rate and regulations for Daily Fantasy Sports.

This was an industry that was voted on by 47 parishes back in 2018. This shows that even with a vote to move forward with legalized sports betting, live betting is still a long way off. In fact, it was just last week that Edwards went ahead and signed the bill that would set up the fantasy sports regulations.

This unique process of requiring a referendum on the November election isn’t just being realized in Louisiana as Maryland and South Dakota are doing the same.

California is currently in talks to try to get a sports betting referendum on its bill. The California move would legalized sports betting at the horse tracks and tribal casinos that are located in the state.

Louisiana Can Use the Injection of Cash

Just like so many other states at the moment, Louisiana could very much use the infusion of cash that the tax revenue would offer. In fact, many are seeing it as an economic boost in general that would be able to inject cash into a number of markets.

Currently, gambling is legal in casinos, on video poker machines, and on riverboats. Many of these have now re-opened to the public after being shut down in March. Of course, even with them open again it will take time for the industry and economy to bounce back to what it was earlier this year.

What’s the Hold-Up?

Legalized sports betting is something that has been in the works and being discussed for quite some time now. It originally looked like it would pass in 2019, but it was held up in discussions, heated arguments, and failed to meet the two-thirds threshold that is needed in order to make it a state law.

This left many feeling frustrated with the system and questioning if legalized sports betting would ever actually happen in the state.

Further adding fuel to the fire of frustrations and panic is the fact that Louisiana is losing tax revenue to its neighboring states like Arkansas and Mississippi who already have legal sports betting within their borders.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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