Louisiana sports betting bill set for full Senate hearing

25 April 2019

The Louisiana Senate is to hold a full debate on a bill that would legalise certain forms of sports betting in the US state.

Introduced last month by Senator Danny Martiny, SB153 would allow for sports wagering at horse racing tracks, casinos and riverboats.

Senate Judiciary B Committee had been discussing the bill and has now voted 3-1 in favour of progressing it forward for a full Senate debate. SB153 does not yet have a date for this hearing.

The bill, also known as the Louisiana Sports Wagering Control Act, would permit land-based wagering via machines, kiosks and designated windows, as well as mobile betting on site at a licensed facility. Punters would first need to register in-person at the site in order to be on mobile.

Sports wagering would be limited to parishes where the majority of citizens have voted in favour of permitting such activities. State elections are due to take place on October 12 and residents can cast their vote on proposed laws should the bill pass into law.

Facilities would first need to obtain a sports betting certificate in order to offer such services, but the bill does not go into detail as to how much these licences would cost or the level of tax licensees would have to pay

However, SB153’s companion bill, House Bill 587, offers greater detail in terms of what potential licensees can expect in terms of fees and taxes.

Currently with the House Committee on Ways and Means, HB587 sets a tax rate of 12% on net sports wagering proceeds in Louisiana.

Operators would need to pay $50,000 (£38,810/€44,880) on an annual basis to retain a sports wagering service provider permit, as well as $100,000 for a five-year sports betting certificate.

HB587 also includes proposals for $100,000 of tax income to be used to support problem gambling programs in the state, with the other funds going towards early childhood education projects.

Image: Famartin