Louisiana may be the next state to legalize online sports betting. For it to become legal it would have to be put up for a referendum on the November ballot. Legislators are now working to make that happen.
Earlier this week a bill passed the lower house by a 73 to 23 vote. But at the last minute, the Speaker of the House attached a rider stating that “participation in sports wagering … shall not be considered gambling by computer” into the bill. That would mean that if people placed a bet on sports wagering in the state the practice would have to go through automatically and the sports betting company couldn't type in the bet into their computers. Instead, it would have to go through APIs.
Still, the number of favorable votes on the initial bill shows strong support in the legislator for it to come to a vote by the people. The next step would be for the bill to go to the Senate. It is assumed that the bill would pass the Senate easily.
In the meantime, another version of the bill is also being reviewed. If either bill passes the house and then the senate then the measure would be put to the people in November.
Polls show a healthy amount of support for legalized sports betting in Louisiana. That means that if they get to vote on it the odds are more than good that it will pass. This would make Louisiana one of the multiple states that have legalized online sports betting. In general, once people get used to online sports betting online gambling and full online casinos come next.
If the measure is approved by voters in November then the legislator would have to devise licensing rules, decide how many licenses to give out and fine-tune the details. Therefore early 2021 is the earliest you could expect online gambling on sports to be available for play in Louisiana.
Still, this seems like a step in the right direction for the state. Online sports wagering would bring in a lot of tax revenue and the state really needs that to make up for all of the taxes lost with its bars and restaurants being closed due to the coronavirus.
We'll keep you updated on this ongoing story.