Louisiana and Connecticut Move One Step Closer to Legal Sports Betting as Bills Progress

  • A Louisiana bill detailing the state’s sports betting regulation has passed in a House committee
  • The legislation will now head to the House floor before it reaches Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk
  • The Connecticut Senate has passed a bill which authorizes the governor to ratify new tribal deals
  • The compacts will allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to offer sports betting

 

US and Louisiana flags
Louisiana and Connecticut are one step closer to joining the US’s burgeoning sports betting market after lawmakers voted on legislation this week. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Two bills continue momentum

Louisiana and Connecticut could be the next states to join the US’s fast-growing legal sports betting market as both saw legislation progress this week.

SB 247 now just requires a House vote and the governor’s signature

A Louisiana sports wagering bill, pushed by Senate President Page Cortez, received approval from a House committee on Tuesday morning. SB 247 now just requires a House vote and the governor’s signature before becoming law.

With the legislation facing little resistance from lawmakers, Cortez said he hopes Louisiana can introduce legal wagering as soon as “the end of the football season” this fall. “But we don’t know for sure,” the Senate leader commented.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Senate approved a gambling expansion bill with a vote of 28 to 6 on Tuesday night. The legislation, which aims to legalize sports betting and online wagering, now just requires the signature of Governor Ned Lamont.

Louisiana voters to get their way

In November last year, 55 of Lousiana’s 64 parishes voted to introduce sports betting. This put in motion the process of developing the state’s wagering framework. With lawmakers approving tax legislation earlier this month, the market now just requires the passage of a bill detailing regulation.

SB 247 passed through the House on May 10 and through the Senate on May 20. Most recently, the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice approved the legislation in a Tuesday morning vote. Lawmakers expect it to reach the House floor this Friday before heading to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards.

Louisiana would offer 20 sportsbook licenses

As per the proposal, Louisiana would offer 20 sportsbook licenses for the state’s casinos and racetracks. If there are still permits remaining after January 1, fantasy sports betting operators and video poker establishments can also apply. Licenses are valid for five years and allow the holder to offer both retail and online wagering.

Following an amendment last week, Louisiana casinos can obtain temporary operating licenses under SB 247. This will allow them to offer betting during the football season while their retail sportsbooks are under construction.

Connecticut bill paves way for compacts

In a bid to expand the state’s gambling options, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has renegotiated two tribal gaming compacts this year. He finalized the second of those deals in March, setting the wheels in motion for the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to introduce sports betting and iGaming.

Accompanying legislation HB 6451 now just requires the approval of the Governor after passing through the Senate late Tuesday night. The legislation authorizes Gov. Lamont to ratify those renegotiated tribal compacts. Once they have received his signature, the compacts will head to the federal Department of the Interior for final approval.

Any sporting event you will look at and see will be flooded with calls, flooded with TV ads”

Despite ultimately passing through the Senate, HB 6451 did meet some resistance from lawmakers. For instance, Senator Tony Hwang pointed to an increased risk of gambling addiction and warned of an onslaught of gambling ads. “Any sporting event you will look at and see will be flooded with calls, flooded with TV ads promoting the quick rich dynamic of betting on a sports game,” he commented.

The legislation sets a rax rate of 18% on sportsbook revenue for the first five years of the market. This will then increase to 20% for the following five years. The Mashantucket Pequot has already partnered with DraftKings in anticipation of the launch, while the Mohegan Tribe has teamed up with Kambi for the Connecticut market.