Louisiana betting bill heads to conference committee

Lawmakers have until Thursday to approve Sports betting in the state of Louisiana.

The Louisiana State Senate rejected a set of House amendments to sports betting bill SB 247, sending the legislation to the conference committee.

This comes after Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed the tax bill HB 697 into law less than a week ago.

SB 247 sent to committee

The Senate unanimously rejected House amendments to SB 247 with a vote of 36-0.

When the legislation was introduced Senator Rich Ward said: “At this time we are going to move to reject the amendments and send this into conference so we can finish out the work and make sure everything is in order.”

The legislative session adjourns on 10 June, which means lawmakers have a day to finish negotiating the details for the second bill needed to get sports betting off the ground.

SB 247 is one of a package of three sports betting bills that were introduced to get sports betting live in Louisiana. This bill would outline the legal framework for online and land-based betting in the state.

Another bill, SB 247 which outlines the tax rate for sports betting in Louisiana was approved last week. Meanwhile, the third bill. SB 142 outlines how sports betting proceeds will be split up.

For sports betting to go live in the state, HB 697, SB 142, and SB 247 need to receive approval from the legislature and Governor.

In November 2020, Louisiana was one of three states to approve sports betting via a voter referendum. In Louisiana, voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted in favour of sports betting. 

Why was the bill rejected?

It is unclear why the amendments to the legislation were rejected.

The amendments to the bill included allowing wagering on horse racing events at the Harrah’s land-based casino. 

When the amendment was introduced last week, Representative John Stefanski said that the provision was already in the bill and allowed for betting at the state’s riverboat casinos, but Harrah’s which is the only land-based casino in the state was left out.

SB 247 would allow for online and land-based betting and each land-based facility could offer two online betting skins.

The Louisiana Lottery would also be entitled to a sports betting skin, meaning the state could potentially have as many as 41 online sportsbooks.

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