The State Senate of Louisiana has passed the sports betting bill as the Bayou State seeks to introduce New Jersey-style online sports betting before year’s end. If the bill is finally accepted into State law, it will allow for horse tracks, riverboat casinos and land-based casinos in New Orleans to open bricks-and-mortar sportsbooks. The state’s 20 land-based gaming facilities could then partner with two separate online sportsbook brands and the state lottery could also launch a government-sponsored digital sportsbook, thereby allowing for a total of 41 potential online sportsbooks.
The language of the bill that was originally included to allow for sports betting at thousands of Louisiana’s convenience stores was struck out before the vote took place, which was eventually passed convincingly by the members of the State Senate by 29 votes to 8. State lawmakers have until the legislative session adjourns at 6 p.m. on June 10 to pass the sports betting legislation through both chambers.
Voters want Sports Betting – Lawmakers need to move it along
Voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 state parishes endorsed sports betting at the ballot box last November allowing residents in those parishes to make wagers on NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCCAB, UFC, NCAAF, Tennis, PGA Tour Golf and other sports – some by a wide margin of 70% or more. In order for it happen as quickly as possible, Louisiana State lawmakers need to agree just how all that is going to work.
It is pertinent to remember that sports betting will still be prohibited in the parishes of Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll and Winn, those parishes where voters rejected adopting sports wagering.
As a result, geolocation technology in Louisiana will need to be more complex and stronger in the Bayou State to prevent those in the 9 non-sports betting parishes from accessing online sportsbooks.
Republican State Senator. Ronnie Johns of Lake Charles said the geolocation is precise and works efficiently. To see the geofencing technology in action for himself, he traveled to New Jersey to see it working.
“It’s fascinating to see how well it works,” Johns said. “A lot of people try to fool the system and it’s virtually impossible to do. It will cut you off from one side of the road to the other.”
If all the Louisiana sports betting bill pass the Legislature and is signed into law by State Governor, John Bel Edwards, sports betting will be on the way, but it will still take some time to get all the laws and regulations governing sports wagering in place.
The bill contains an emergency proviso that would enable expediting the sports wagering bill’s implementation into practice, however, placing legal sports wagers in Louisiana could still be some months away.
According to State Representative John Stefanski, one of the Louisiana’s sports betting key proponents;
“It’s possible by late fall, but realistically, because of what it will take to build out the infrastructure on all of the components, we think it will (more likely) be early 2022,” Stefanski remarked, giving a tip that Louisiana might be ready to accept the first legal sports betting wagers just in time for the Super Bowl.
However, potential sports bettors may have to be more patient yet. Remember, it took Louisiana’s State lawmakers two years to pass similar daily fantasy sports (DFS) legislation. Leading DFS providers such as FanDuel, Monkey Knife Fight and DraftKings are not expected to launch their DFS games until later this year (in time for the NFL season?) even though Louisiana voters first approved these games way back in 2018.
Watch for our updates as the legislative session plays out.