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Wed Apr 24, 2019, 03:36 AM

Louisiana sports betting clears first hurdle

Legal sports betting has cleared its first hurdle in Louisiana. The state Senate Judiciary B Committee voted 3-1 Tuesday (April 23) to approve legislation to permit sports betting in the state.

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, was the lone vote against the proposal, Senate Bill 153. Peterson revealed earlier this year that she struggles with a gambling addiction.

If the bill is approved, Louisiana voters would determine the fate of sports betting this fall on a parish-by-parish basis. The earliest sports betting could be in place is January 2020, said Ronnie Jones, head of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, would allow sports wagering on professional and collegiate sports at Louisiana’s four horse racetracks with slot machines, 15 riverboat casinos and at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. Betting on high school, video game and electronic sports events would not be allowed. Sports betting would be limited to gamblers 21 and older.

Martiny said sports betting could generate anywhere from $40 million to $60 million annually, though there are questions about whether those targets are feasible. Mississippi is closing out its first year with sports betting, which has produced less than half the tax revenue projected.

Read more: https://www.nola.com/crime/2019/04/louisiana-sports-betting-clears-first-hurdle.html

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