Louisiana Inches Closer To Legalizing Sports Betting

louisiana legislature working on sports betting
The Louisiana legislature has been moving a pair of sports betting bills along to hopefully have them on the November ballot.

Lawmakers in Baton Rouge, La., will be deciding the fate of two very similar sports betting bills. Sponsors behind the bills say they are similar, due to all the problems with getting sports betting passed in the past.

Sponsors wanted a little insurance this time around. The bills are making their way through the proper legal channels in The Pelican State, as on Tuesday, lawmakers allowed the bills to advance to the State floor.

The sports betting bills are known as Senate bills 130 and 378, which got enough votes to push the bills to the next level. In the next few weeks, the two sports betting bills will be in front of the entire House for a final vote.

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The bills already have wide approval from the Louisiana Senate. The final step for the bills to be placed on the ballot in November is the governor signing off on the bills.

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has already expressed his approval of the sports betting bills. He has said, “It will be good for tourism and for the people of Louisiana, and will offer money to programs that are in desperate need of financial help.”

Sports Betting Bills Expected To Be On November Ballot

The voters will have the final say on Nov. 3 when they go to the polls. If the bills are passed by the voters, which they are expected to do, each Louisiana parish will get to decide if they have sports betting.

Once it’s determined which parishes decide to have sports betting, the Louisiana legislature will iron out the rules and regulations in 2021. State legislator Cameron Henry is one of the biggest advocates for sports betting in the state.

Henry is in the fourth year of his third term as a State Representative and holds town hall meetings with residents of Louisiana about their feelings on sports betting. Henry authored one of the bills, which has all the rules and regulations thoroughly laid out.

henry championing sports betting
Louisiana state representative Cameron Henry has been pushing for sports betting to become legal in the state.

Henry recently was a guest on the “Off The Bench” radio show to discuss his philosophy on sports betting. Henry said he’s been very frustrated by the way the sports betting bills have been handled recently.

He said, “That’s why we have the bills out this year for approval. Casinos offer sports betting as an amenity. It’s something that will attract their customers to come in and stay in. The revenues that casinos are able to bring in are from the consumer.”

Sports Betting In Louisiana Casinos Will Attract More Visitors

Henry went on to explain that he doesn’t want anyone to feel like they have been excluded due to the prices of a sports betting license. If the voters go to the polls in November and decide that more of the population wants sports betting, they’ll work on the legislation starting in December 2020.

Some people are confused, thinking that the sports betting bills have already been voted on in past years. Henry said that sports betting was never on the ballot in years past; it was fantasy sports on the ballot. This time it will be very simple, a straight up and down vote.

“Sports betting will not be up and running in time for the NFL season in 2021, as there will be many issues that have to be worked on as far as the regulatory commission. We may have to have a special session after the November election to address specific issues around sports betting.

“It will take some time still, but we don’t want to have to come back three or four times to correct it. We want it done correctly this time, so when it passes, we can just move forward,” Henry said.

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