US Sports Betting Legislation Updates: South Dakota, Louisiana, and Ohio

  • South Dakota’s Legislative Rules Review Committee has OK’d new sports wagering rules
  • A Louisiana bill appropriating state funds from sports betting has made it through the House
  • An Ohio committee has amended a betting bill, with changes including the addition of esports
A hand gripping money
Efforts to pass sports betting legislation in the states of South Dakota, Louisiana, and Ohio have seen some significant action this week. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Betting markets in the making

It’s been another busy week for lawmakers across the US as they continue to develop and vote on sports betting legislation.

South Dakota sportsbooks still look set to launch in time for the beginning of the NFL season. This week, the Legislative Rules Review Committee approved sports betting rules proposed by the Commission on Gaming.

Louisiana is edging ever closer to legal sports betting

Elsewhere, Louisiana is edging ever closer to legal sports betting. State representatives already passed one of three bills setting the market’s framework earlier this week. Now, another bill has passed through the House seeking to appropriate betting revenue.

In Ohio, lawmakers have been attempting to finalize betting legislation since the start of the year. The Ohio Select Committee on Gaming met for a 14th time on Wednesday to amend SB 176.

South Dakota on track for launch

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed sports betting into law in March. According to the legislation, the Commission on Gaming will begin accepting license applications from July 1. However, the regulator still needs to finalize its rules before sportsbooks can take their first bets.

The proposed regulation, passed by the Commission last month, received the approval of the Legislative Rules Review Committee on Wednesday. Among these rules is a $5,000 application fee for sports betting providers and an amendment adding sports wagering to authorized gaming in the city of Deadwood.

The commission will hold a public hearing to set additional sports betting regulation on July 14.

A busy week in Louisiana

In the final week of Louisiana’s legislative session, lawmakers are busy with multiple sports betting bills. The first, HB 697, received Governor John Bel Edwards’s approval on Monday, setting the tax and payment framework of the new market.

On Wednesday, another bill progressed through the House and onto the Senate. Sponsored by Senator Rick Ward, SB 142 establishes how the state distributes the funds generated through sports betting. It passed through the House with a vote of 94-8.

During the bill’s reading, Rep. John Stefanski explained the distribution of the sports betting funds. The legislation attributes 60% of the money to the statewide general fund, 25% to early childhood programs, 12% to locals, 2% to behavioral programs like gambling addiction treatment, and 1% to the state’s horsemen’s fund.

A third and final bill setting the regulation for the new market returned to the Senate this week. The House unanimously rejected SB 247 on Tuesday following amendments made by the upper chamber.

Thursday is the final day of Louisiana’s legislative session. If all three bills make it into law, sports betting will become legal in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes.

More amendments in Ohio

Ohio is taking a very cautious approach to its sports betting legislation this year. State officials have spent the past few months formulating SB 176 after hearing testimonies from stakeholders in the gaming industry.

operators will pay an initial $1m fee and then $500,000 annually in the following two years

In a brief meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio Select Committee on Gaming amended that legislation once more. As part of these changes, the body reduced the annual fee required from operators in the first three years of operations. Instead of $1m per year, operators will pay an initial $1m fee and then $500,000 annually in the following two years.

Additionally, the committee has added esports into the bill, and prohibited wagering on events in which athletes are under the age of 18. Sports betting licensees can also now only have one mobile license in their first year, with the option to apply for a second the following year. There was no limit to the number of skins previously.