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Sports Gambling Up for Approval in Sixty Four Parishes

If your parish approves Sports Gambling, what does that mean, and when would it really take effect?

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 9:56 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 9:57 AM

LAFAYETTE - When you get to the voting booth this year, you may see a proposition that looks awfully familiar.

Explains Michael Noel, Chariman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, "Some people probably are thinking, 'Wait a minute. Didn't we vote on this back a few years ago?' But actually, in 2018, the vote was on fantasy sports."

That vote was considered sports gaming. This year, it's a whole different ball game: Sports Gambling.

According to the sample ballot on the GeauxVote app, the proposition will read something like this: "Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of _______"

It's something you're beginning to see legalized in other states, and now voters in Louisiana get to decide whether they want it in their parish.

Says Barry Erwin, President of Council for a Better Louisiana, "It basically says that if you in your parish vote to legalize sports betting, then it will be legalized. Now that's the simple version of it. There's really a few more hitches than that. Even if voters pass it on the ballot coming up next month in november, it's not going to be in place immediately."

Council for a Better Louisiana is a non-profit that advocates for positive change in the state. However, they did not take a poisiton on this proposition.

In many parishes (i.e. Lafayette), there are no casinos to place a bet in. If the sports betting proposition gets passed, that could open the door for a new kind of legal gambling in those parishes, one done through your phone.

Adds Ewrin, "Whether it's just in casinos, whether you can have kind of like a sports bar where you can have sports betting or those kinds of things or again on the internet on a mobile app - which in some other states you can do that. So those are all questions that will still need to be answered."

Those questions, along with where the taxes on sports wagering go, is what the legislature will have to figure out later. Then, it's in the hands of the louisiana gaming control board.

Says Michael Noel, "Once that occurs, then we will take the legislation and craft the rules that really implement that legislative intent."

Noel adds that if your parish votes to legalize sports wagering, you're going to have to wait. You most likely won't be able to legally make a bet on a game or match until at least the early part of 2022.

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