Sports betting for La.?

<p class="p1">BATON ROUGE — The pursuit of new forms of gambling continued here Tuesday with a Senate committee hearing bills dealing with sports betting, internet gambling and raffles at higher education institutions.</p><p class="p1">Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, is sponsoring the sports betting and internet gambling measures, and Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings, is author of the raffle legislation.</p><p class="p1">Senate Bill 266 by Martiny deals with sports betting, and it was sent to the full Senate. It calls for parish referendum elections to decide the issue in individual parishes.</p><p class="p1">If approved by the voters, a riverboat or land-based casino license holder could engage in sports wagering. An amendment added slot machine gambling at racetracks, video poker truckstops, and bars and restaurants with three video poker machines.</p><p class="p1">The U.S. Supreme Court is expected anytime now to decide whether sports betting is legal. Meanwhile, it has been estimated that illegal sports betting is a $400 billion annual enterprise.</p><p class="p1">S.B. 322, the internet gambling measure by Martiny, was deferred by the Senate Judiciary B Committee. Martiny said it wouldn’t move until the State Police Gaming Division sets up the rules and regulations.</p><p class="p1">The legislation says internet gambling won’t take place in any parish unless internet gaming is approved in a parish referendum, which is how riverboat casinos were approved. It defines internet gambling as any variation or composite of an authorized game that is offered through the internet.</p><p class="p1">If a parish approves internet gaming, the state Gaming Control Board and the State Police Gaming Division promulgates all the rules necessary to implement, administer and regulate it. The legislation allows the acceptance of a wager by a licensed riverboat or land-based casino. Internet gaming would become effective Jan. 1, 2020.</p><p class="p1">States get revenue from sports betting and internet games much like they do from existing casinos, but committee members didn’t get much information on what the potential revenues might be.</p><p class="p1">Martiny said he was offering internet gaming and sports betting because “we’re broke and don’t know how to fix it. This is one way.”</p><p class="p1">The committee approved S.B. 313 by Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, and sent it to the full Senate. It deals with slot machine gambling at state racetracks. The bill would establish a limit of 1,735 slot machines at any racetrack, replacing the current 15,000 square foot requirement.</p><p class="p1">Morrish said his raffle bill (S.B. 468) adds public higher education institutions to present law regarding charitable raffles, bingo and gaming. Booster clubs can conduct raffles, but the universities themselves don’t have charitable gaming licenses, he said.</p><p class="p1">Raffles of automobiles offered by local dealers have been conducted by booster clubs, but the universities couldn’t get involved. Morrish said that restricts the ability of those booster clubs to reach a wider audience. The raffle licenses only cost $75, he said.</p><p class="p1">The legislation says universities, when licensed, may hold and operate raffles when the entire proceeds are devoted to supporting the institution. Public institutions include universities, public junior and community colleges, public technical institutes and each separate school or department of the institution, college or institute.</p><p class="p1">If approved, the measure would become effective on Aug. 1.</p>””Sports betting boardMGN

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