Sports betting is coming to Louisiana, so local lawmakers have decided to forge a plan how to divide the tax proceeds that are expected to be derived by the new form of gambling.
Senator Rick Ward passed a piece of legislation – Senate Bill 142 – through Louisiana Senate with 33 to 3 votes, with the proposed measure still set to complement the final legislative rules that are set to be unveiled by the state’s Legislature. Mr. Ward shared that he was still unaware when the first deposits would be made but he noted that, according to a provisional license, some sports betting services could become available as early as this fall.
The three Senators who opposed the piece of legislation are Karen Peterson, Mike Fesi and Glen Womack.
The sponsor of Senate Bill 142 also highlighted some details on how the money expected to be generated by sports betting services in Louisiana are set to be distributed.
A 20% portion of the proceeds, which is expected to be more than $10 million in payout from real sports betting, will be granted to the Education Fund. On the other hand, fantasy sports betting, which is a totally different type of betting and is expected to become available in Louisiana before fall, is set to provide all of its proceeds to fund early education.
Louisiana General Fund to Receive Most of Sports Betting Tax Proceeds
Senator Rick Ward also revealed that the 55 parishes that gave the green light to sports betting last year are set to see some of the tax money return to them. The state will give 10% of the overall amount it collects to parishes proportionately.
Both the Louisiana State Racing Commission and the Behavioral Health and Wellness Fund are set to receive 1% of sports betting tax proceeds each. Senator Jay Morris, who later supported the proposed bill, asked the sponsor of Senate Bill 142 what was the reason why racing associations were to get part of the sports betting tax proceeds. The money that is set to be received by the Commission will be used for funding horse racing cash prizes in the state. Two-thirds of the intended 1% will be distributed to the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, while the remaining one-third set to be received by the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeder Association.
Also, under the provisions of the proposed bill, a fund to invest in comprehensive treatment facilities for problem gamblers is set to be created. The fund will be controlled by the state treasurer.
The remaining funds, which are about 68%, will be distributed to the state’s General Fund.
If everything goes as planned, most Louisiana residents could be able to place bets on sporting events in a few months. House Bill 697, which imposes a framework of sports betting fees and taxes, is waiting for the approval of Governor John Bel Edwards. Another measure, which sets up the regulations and procedures associated with the regulatory framework of the new form of gambling, Senate Bill 247, is scheduled for a vote today. If approved, it will also go to the Governor’s desk to be signed.