A Louisiana legislator is preparing to introduce a measure to allow sports betting on mobile devices, claiming that legalizing mobile sports betting could generate millions of dollars in taxes for the state.
State Senate President Page Cortez (R) told reporters that his bill to allow sports betting on mobile devices would be introduced at the upcoming session that will convene at noon on Monday, April 12, 2021. The two-month legislative session is scheduled to end on 10th of June this year.
According to Cortez’s claims, granting legal status to mobile sports betting will generate $10 million to $20 million in taxes. He stressed that allowing sports betting on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets will provide a much-needed boost to the state economy.
Voters in most of the state’s parishes have already expressed their desire for the controversial activity. In November, state voters in 55 of 64 parishes gave their approval to sports betting. The parishes that are home to the biggest cities, such as Baton Rouge and New Orleans, showed great enthusiasm in approving the ballot question. However, that ballot question didn’t specify whether sports wagering would be allowed on mobile devices or be limited to in-person bets inside casinos. There are thirteen riverboat casinos, one land-based casino, and four racinos in Louisiana.
Meanwhile, a recent report from the Louisiana Early Childhood Care & Education Commission has recommended that tax revenue from sports wagering should be utilized on expanding education for children. But, Cortez stressed that he would not prefer to earmark sports betting revenue for any specific program, though he was in support of additional spending for early childhood learning.
Louisiana is not the only state in the US to consider sports betting legalization. In Georgia, legislators are all set to decide if the state should make a constitutional amendment to allow mobile sports betting. If approved by two-thirds of the state assembly, the issue would go before state voters during the next election.
Back to Louisiana, legislators will discuss taxes and regulation issues and they to determine whether the state should allow mobile sports betting during the upcoming legislative session at the Capitol in Baton Rouge. With these essential matters still pending to be resolved, state officials believe that legal sports betting will probably not take place in Louisiana until 2022.