(The Center Square) – The Louisiana Senate approved a bill Wednesday that lays out how state government could spend sports betting revenue.
Voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes legalized sports betting last year. Lawmakers are working out the details this year.
Senate Bill 142 by Republican Sen. Rick Ward of Port Allen is part of a package of sports betting bills and deals with how to divvy up the fees, fines and other revenue associated with sports wagering. As amended Wednesday, 20% of the money would go to early childhood education.
Ten percent would be reserved for local governments where bets are placed. One percent would go to a fund dedicated to behavioral health, and another 1% would go to supplement horse racing purses. The rest would to the general fund.
Senators approved the bill with a 33-3 vote and sent it to the House.
House Bill 697, which legislators have passed and sent to the governor’s desk, calls for a 10% tax on net gaming proceeds from on-site betting and a 15% tax on mobile betting. Mobile sports betting providers said their technology can prevent bets from being placed in parishes where it isn’t legal.
Senate Bill 247, which is pending final passage in the House, would prohibit anyone younger than age 21 from placing sports bets. No more than 20 licenses to operate a sports book would be issued, and the state’s 16 casinos and four racetracks would have the first chance to apply. Video poker establishments and fantasy sports operators would be next in line.