Bill divvying up tax money from sports betting moving through Legislature

Sports gambling is on its way to Louisiana, and legislators have a plan to divvy up the tax money, reports The Manship School News Service. 

Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, passed a bill through the Senate with a 33-3 vote. Ward’s measure, SB142, will work hand-in-hand with the final legislative rules for sports wagering that are still to be determined, and will now be reviewed by the House.

“I don’t know when the first deposits would happen,” Ward said. “There’s a provisional license to let this start as early as the fall.”

Ward added amendments to the bill during the floor meeting detailing just how the money will be distributed:

• Twenty percent will go to early childhood education, but the bill states that the education fund is not to exceed more than $10 million in payout from gambling revenue on real sports events. Fantasy sports wagering, a separate type of betting that should be operational in the state before fall, will deposit all of its funds into early education.  

• Ten percent will go to the 55 parishes that approved sports wagering in 2020. 

• One percent will go to invest in comprehensive treatment facilities for individuals with gambling problems. The state treasurer will have control over the fund. 

• One percent will go to the Louisiana Racing Commission. The money taken in by the commission will be used to supplement the cash prizes for horse racing in the state. The 1% is divided into thirds, with two-thirds going to the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the remainder going to the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeder Association.

• Sixty-eight percent will go to the state’s general fund.