Path to legalized sports betting heads to Louisiana governor

Louisiana

FILE – The betting line and some of the nearly 400 proposition bets for Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are displayed at the Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on February 2, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The newly renovated sports book has the world’s largest indoor LED video wall with 4,488 square feet of HD video screens measuring 240 feet wide and 20 feet tall. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A proposal that paves the way for legalized sports betting in some Louisiana parishes is headed to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk.

If the Democratic governor agrees to the measure as expected, voters in each of the state’s 64 parishes will decide in the Nov. 3 election whether to authorize sports wagering in their parish.

The House sent the bill by Sen. Cameron Henry, a Metairie Republican, with a 72-23 vote Wednesday. The Senate already had agreed to the legislation in a 29-8 vote.

Sports betting only will be legal in parishes where a majority of those casting ballots in the November election agree to it. But even in those parishes that authorize wagering, people interested in betting will have to wait a year or more to do so.

Additional legislation to create the licensing, regulation and tax structures would be required.

Lawmakers will need to decide on which sports the betting is allowed and whether professional, college and international sports events will be included. They’ll need to determine where the wagers could happen, such as at state casinos, through online sites or elsewhere. And they’ll have to settle how the activity will be taxed.

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