Louisiana sports betting bill put on life support
Sports betting and New Orleans-style Hurricanes sound like a pretty good combination for the state of Louisiana. But if that’s your idea of a good time, you shouldn’t rush to the airport. Earlier this week, Louisiana lawmakers killed a bill that would have allowed regulated sports betting in the state’s 16 casinos and four racetracks.
Louisiana’s dream of allowing citizens to place wagers on sporting events started out well enough with a bill introduced by Republican Sen. Danny Martiny in the state’s Appropriation Committee. But that bill was immediately loaded down with so many amendments that it simply became untenable. Those amendments included a stunning 13 percent tax on sports betting revenue. That would have been the highest in the country by a long shot (Nevada only taxes sports betting revenue at around six percent).
Once the 13 percent tax was introduced, the state’s gambling industry lost interest in the bill entirely. According to the Louisiana Advocate, Wade Duty the executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association told the Committee, “With the amendments that have been loaded onto this bill, it is untenable. You now have put enough baggage on the plane it will not get airborne.” He went on to explain that sports betting is not a huge profit center for casinos and that making a profit while paying a 13 percent tax was not likely.
State lawmakers were hoping that regulated sports betting would pull in around $60 million a year to state coffers. This was the second attempt at legalizing sports betting in Louisiana.