A Louisiana Sports Betting Bill Has Passed The Senate

BATON ROUGE, La. – Legal sports betting has gotten a bit closer to becoming a reality in Louisiana. Senate Bill 153 is a bill that would permit sports wagering in Louisiana at four horse racetracks and the New Orleans Harrah’s Casino. Wagering will also be permitted at the state’s 15 riverboat casinos.

SB 153 passed the Senate with a 24-15 vote. Now the bill must get past the House. There are some complications, however, before the bill becomes law. After passing through the House the bill’s fate will rest in the hand of voters in the state’s eight parishes. They will be given the option to vote on if they would like sports gambling.

The complications for sports betting to become law in the state pale in comparison to the benefits it could provide its residents. Senator Danny Martiny, the sponsor of the bill, and Governor John Bel Edwards both agree on using the tax revenue from SB 153 to support childhood education programs in the area.

Unlike other states that push gambling monies toward other areas, childhood education programs could present a better future for upcoming Louisiana residents.

The other benefit to potential legal sports betting in Louisiana is competing with its neighboring state Mississippi.

“The Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos are doing everything they can to lure Louisiana people over to the Biloxi area and one of the amenities that they offer is sports betting,” said Martiny.

In order to compete with Mississippi in sports gambling the state would need its voters to err on the side of legalization. Before that happens, they would need the House to agree on passing the bill instead of nipping the bill in the bud before it makes it out the gate.

The potential for getting residents swaying toward legalization is looking bright, according to an LSU survey completed last month. The survey said 59% of Louisiana residents were in favor of legalizing sports betting. This only included professional sports, not college.

State residents will potentially get their chance to vote on sports betting in Louisiana if the bill passes the House. If it does then the soonest they could bet on sports will be the year 2020.

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