A Beer and a Bet in Louisiana?

Legalized Sports Gambling Louisiana

A trip to a bar in Louisiana, USA, sometime soon might just see you get some winners as well as a drink. The state is trying to work out how best to introduced legalized sports gambling. The move comes at a time when casinos in the state have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic.

December 2020 saw the state hold a vote over the legalization of sports gambling and authorization was given by a vote of 56 parishes to eight. Of those voting in favour, nearly two-thirds of voters gave their approval. Now the debates have begun on what to do next.

Last year wasn’t a good one at all for Louisiana casinos. There were losses of nearly a billion dollars, mostly caused by venues having to be closed. Introducing sports gambling is seen as one way of improving the situation.

Legalized Sports Gambling

The road to legalizing sports gambling has started. It’s just what the end destination will look like that is to be determined.

Several sports gambling bills are due to be discussed. One of them suggests that allowing some bars and restaurants to introduce sportsbooks is possible. It’ll be a case of going out for a meal and be able to place a bet on the latest American Football or basketball game. Or perhaps a beer and a bet and hopefully being able to watch the big match live on a giant screen.

This particular bill is entitled SB 202 and is the work of Senator President Patrick Page. It’s expected to receive plenty of support, the high position he holds will help. Ronnie Jones used to be the chair of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. His view is that when it comes to introducing sports gambling, the state should start small and then build it up in the future.

There is still plenty of opposition to such moves. Eight of the 64 parishes in Louisiana didn’t vote in favour of the legalization moves. That may well cause problems when sports gambling is finally legalized in the state. Those not voting for it won’t be introducing any sportsbooks. There would have to be checks made to ensure that gamblers in those parishes don’t then just use other parishes sportsbooks.

Sports Gambling Licenses

When legalization does take place, it’s expected that up to 20 sportsbooks will be allowed to operate. It’ll be the state’s four racetracks, Harrah’s in New Orleans and 15 riverboat casinos that will be first in line for a sports gambling license.

If not all of them apply, then it’ll be time for a bidding process. It’s expected that would be a highly competitive one considering the high revenue expected to be earned.

There isn’t too long to pass a bill as the current legislative session comes to an end on June 10. It’ll be interesting to see just what decision are made in Louisiana in the coming weeks.