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Sports betting wins but it could take a year or two

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 4:02 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The vast majority of Louisiana voters Tuesday decided that they’re OK with sports wagering in their parishes. Now state lawmakers must come up with the governing rules.

When Louisiana voters went to the polls Tuesday they decided that they want to be able to bet on sports in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes.

“It’s pretty amazing, fantasy sports had only 47 parishes and now sports wagering has 55 parishes at well above 60 precent favorability,” said bill sponsor, and state senator Cameron Henry(R-Metairie).

But the devil could be in the details, the legislature will meet next year to set the rules for sports wagering and the fees to be generated for the state and providers.

“After that at some point folks will be able to do it legally in their parish if their parish approved it,” said lobbyist Richard Carbo, with “Louisiana Wins”.

All of the parishes in Metro New Orleans okayed sports betting which could generate as much as $300 million a year.

Sports betting proponents say Casinoes like Harrah’s will likely be a given for embracing sports betting but it may take longer for parishes that approved it to get a facility if they don’t already have a land-based, or a riverboat casino.

“I see bars and restaurants really teaming up with in-state or out-of-state companies to say we’re going to be responsible for allowing your customers to do sports wagering,” said Henry.

Henry says people who wanna place bets on sports may be able to do it online, with safeguards to keep children from betting too.

“The technology is there through Geo fencing to prohibit any child under 21 from having access to it,” said Henry.

Henry says revenues from sports betting won’t be a cure-all for Louisiana but it could come in handy at a time when the state is suffering severe deficits due to the coronavirus.

Though some say it won’t be fully implemented until the year 2022, Henry is hopeful to see sports betting in place by late next year.

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