Benefits of Legal Online Gambling in LA
- Generates a huge amount of tax revenue for the state
- Boosts the economic growth of the failing traditional casino industry
- Offers a safer alternative to the many illegal online casinos
What is Bill S322?
Recently floated by Sen. Daniel Martiny, it is a bill that will legalize online gambling in Louisiana. The bill, at 4 pages, is still in its infancy and still requires a lot of work and effort before it is complete. Bill S322 follows on the heels of similar bills calling for the legalization of both Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting respectively. At the moment Louisiana is 1 of 5 states where online sports betting is still not permitted.
Bill S322 defines online gambling (aka Internet Gaming) as:
“Internet gaming” shall mean any variation or composite of an authorized game that is offered through the internet, provided that such games, or variations or composites, are found suitable for use by the board and any other game which is determined to be suitable by the board. The term includes gaming tournaments conducted via the internet in which players compete against one another in one or more games authorized by the board or in approved variations or composites thereof if the tournament is authorized by the board.”
The bill also states:
- Online casino and poker patrons would need to be 21 years of age and located within the state of Louisiana.
- The Louisiana Gaming Control Board and gaming division of the office of state police shall promulgate all rules necessary to implement, administer, and regulate internet gaming.
- Licenses would be restricted to the riverboat and land-based casinos licensed by the LGCB. This means that when online gambling in Louisiana becomes legal, LA online casinos will probably be launched by land-based casino operators like Mohegan Sun.
What Happens Next?
Unlike the process currently underway in Pennsylvania, Louisiana will let voters rather than lawmakers decide on whether or not legal online casinos in LA will become a reality. Bill S322, as well as those related to Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports, will be put to a parish-by-parish voter referendum.
Each voter will be asked:
“Shall internet gaming be allowed to be conducted within the parish of ______?”
By all indications, it seems that 2020 is realistically the soonest we can expect to see residents enjoying online gambling in Louisiana is 2020 as Bill S322 states:
“Section 2 of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2020.”
2020 may sound far away but when you consider that the earliest we can expect the referendum to take place is November of this year.This leaves just over a year for all the legal online casinos in LA to get their ducks in a row.
It’s still quite early in the process, but we are confident that the referendum is nothing more than a formality and that Louisiana will soon have a flourishing online gambling industry. Watch this space for the latest on the process in LA, and other states where online gambling is on the cards.