Louisiana Governor signs sports betting tax bill

The state of Louisiana is one step closer to launching legal sports betting.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the first of two bills that are required to bring legal and regulated sports betting to the state of Louisiana.

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

Taxation bill approved

The legislation, HB 697, was introduced in April and proposes tax rates, licensing fees, and several other sports betting requirements for the Louisiana market.

This comes after the bill was passed by the state House and Senate last month.

Under the bill, land-based sports betting would be taxed at 10% while online betting would be taxed at a rate of 18%. 

The application fee for an operating licence would be set at $250,000 along with another fee of $500,000 once the licence has been issued. Sports betting providers would require a separate licence, which would come with a $100,000 application fee and another fee of $250,000 upon receipt.

The Louisiana Lottery Corporation would also be allowed to partner with a sports betting operator in a regulated market. However, the Lottery would then be required to pay 30% of net gaming proceeds from sports betting toward “expenses and costs deemed necessary to administer sports wagering.”

Another bill needs to be passed

Before sports betting can go live in the state, another piece of legislation must be approved by the legislature.

The other bill, SB 247, was approved by the House last week but did so with some amendments and must now be reviewed by the Senate.

If the measure is approved, facilities will be required to hold gaming licenses in order to offer sports betting, regulate gaming license recipients and authorise wagering limitations.

Approximately 20 sports betting licenses would be available in the state and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board would be given the power to regulate sports betting in the state.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board will first consider applications from the state’s only land-based casino, 15 riverboat casinos, and four racetracks.

The House amendments to the bill would allow licensed operators to accept cash bets at their sportsbook facilities. The definition of a gaming device was also amended to include sports wagering mechanisms.

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