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The once contentious decision to legalize sports betting in Louisiana has suddenly become a lot simpler. On Wednesday (27th) the Louisiana House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 130 by a wide margin of 71-24. The bill will be sent to Gov. Edwards’ desk for signature. Gov. Edwards has indicated he will sign the bill without objection.
The bill that was introduced by state Senator Cameron Henry calls for a parish-by-parish referendum allowing for local voters to decide what they want in their community with the proposition appearing on the ballot during the Nov, 3rd election. This will likely result in a patchwork of legalized sports betting across the state.
The bill is vague on details such as tax rates and fees opting to kick the can down the road on those issues in order to pass it without contention.
Previous attempts to legalize sports betting in Louisiana have been met by much more resistance. In 2018 during the push to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports betting in Louisiana State Senator Daniel Martiny successfully filibustered the bill after disagreements about an add on to the bill.
Pushing the decision to voters in Louisiana’s parishes may be seen as a successful compromise in a state where representatives and senators have wildly varying opinions on legalized gambling. By allowing the voters to decide the issue has effectively been removed from potential differences during deliberations.
The state’s Gaming Control Board will have oversight once the proposition is passed in certain parishes and lawmakers establish rules of governance.
Delaying decisions on the rulemaking portion of the bill was sold to senators and reps as a way to collect feedback from constituents about what they wanted to see in legalization before the fact.
Check back at WSN for more updates on LA sports betting movements at WSN’s Louisiana sports watch page.
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