We write with an update on the status of sports wagering in Louisiana. In our May 2019 article titled “Sports Wagering in Louisiana Might Be on the Horizon,” we provided an overview of Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Senator Danny Martiny (R-Metairie), and its efforts to legalize sports wagering in Louisiana. As of May 22, the date on which our prior article was published, the Senate had passed Senate Bill 153 by a 24-15 vote, and the bill was awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives after being reported favorably out of the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice. At the time, it appeared that sports wagering might soon be made legal in Louisiana, but things quickly changed as the bill progressed in the House.
On May 29, Senate Bill 153 was referred to the House Appropriations Committee, which ultimately proved fatal to the bill’s success. In considering Senate Bill 153, the House Appropriations Committee tacked on several amendments that would have greatly expanded the availability of sports wagering in Louisiana beyond what was initially contemplated. As originally drafted, Senate Bill 153 proposed to legalize sports wagering only at licensed riverboat casinos, live horse racing facilities, and the land-based casino in New Orleans. The amendments proposed by the House Appropriations Committee, however, would have allowed sports wagering to also be offered at the approximately 2,800 licensed video poker establishments in Louisiana. The amendments thus quickly drew the ire of the casino industry in Louisiana, which ultimately withdrew its support of the amended bill. With support for Senate Bill 153 dwindling, the House Appropriations Committee involuntarily deferred the bill, which was never considered by the full House. Continue Reading