Louisiana Busies with Gambling Laws

It has been a busy week for lawmakers in the State of Louisiana as activity centered around the introduction of several bills relating to gambling.

H 245 – Opening up the month of March was Democratic Rep. Major Thibaut who introduced a bill that could essentially expand gambling activities at Louisiana’s four horse racing locations, namely Fair Grounds, Louisiana Downs, Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs.

The bill spells that players may bet “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.”

Each parish will have the right to decide whether it wants to have its name appear on a referendum in order for the state to allow gambling. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board will regulate sports betting in the state.

The advancement of H245 is naturally dependent on the outcome of the expected Supreme Court ruling later this year, over whether a federal sports betting prohibition will be dropped or not.

H 484 – Introduced by House Rep. Kirk Talbot, this bill calls for the regulation of paid-entry fantasy sports.  The bill “creates the Louisiana Fantasy Sports Contests Act, requires a proposition election to determine whether fantasy sports contests shall be permitted statewide,
provides for the regulation of such contests, and provides for a contingent effectiveness.”

The bill proposes that the Louisiana Gaming Control Board be given the authority to design, as well as implement rules for daily fantasy sports operators in the state.

S 322 – This bill was introduced on the same day that Rep. Talbot rolled out his H 484, and opens the doors for legalized and regulated online gambling in the state of Louisiana.  Different state counties would need to decide for themselves if they wish the question of their parish adopting online gambling legislation should appear on a referendum.  The bill would make online gambling available to state residents over the age of 21.


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