Gambling bills keep Louisiana lawmakers’ hands full

Gambling bills keep Louisiana lawmakers’ hands full

Bills seeking to legalize sports betting, online gambling, and daily fantasy sports have emerged at the Louisiana State Capitol in the first six days of March.

Gambling bills keep Louisiana lawmakers’ hands fullFirst on the list of gambling-related bills filed this month was H-245, filed by Democratic Rep. Major Thibaut last Thursday. The general idea of H-245 was to pave the way for the expansion of gaming activities at the state’s four horse racing facilities: Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, Fair Grounds, and Louisiana Downs.

If the bill passes legislators’ scrutiny, residents of Louisiana may be able to punt “on any type of sports event, including but not limited to football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, tennis, wrestling, jai alai, or other sports contest or event.”

The power to regulate sports betting will be given to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB), according to Thibaut’s proposed legislation.

A referendum will also be needed in order for the state to allow gambling in any state county.

“The governing authority of the parish in which the gaming activities are proposed to be held shall call and conduct a referendum election within the parish for the purpose of submitting to the qualified electors of the parish the proposition whether or not the proposed gaming activities shall be allowed,” H-245 stated.

Four days after the sports betting measure surfaced in the House, two other bills seeking to regulate online gambling and daily fantasy sports (DFS) were also filed in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.

On Monday, House Rep. Kirk Talbot pushed for the regulation of paid-entry fantasy sports through H-484. The proposed measure aims to give the LGCB the authority to design and implement rules and regulations for DFS operators.

At the same time, Sen. Daniel Martiny filed S-322, which would pave the way for legalizing online gaming in different Louisiana counties for players over 21-years-old.

Both H-484 and S-322 provided that it would be up to voters to decide whether to approve DFS and online gambling in the state through a referendum.