Louisiana House lawmakers refuse to legalize sports betting


In this March 22, 2019 photo, gamblers watch live sporting events at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Since sports betting became legal last year in New Jersey, the state’s casinos and racetracks had taken more than $2.6 billion worth of bets through the end of April 2019. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana won’t be legalizing sports betting this legislative session.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 14-6 Tuesday to shelve Republican Sen. Danny Martiny’s proposal to allow sports wagering in the state.

By the time the committee rejected the bill, Martiny said it was so overloaded with objectionable amendments that it couldn’t win enough legislative support even if it escaped the committee.

The Senate supported legalizing sports betting on professional, college and international sports events at Louisiana’s 16 casinos and four racetracks.

Martiny, of Kenner, says Louisiana residents already are betting on sports through online offshore sites and neighboring casinos in Mississippi. He says Louisiana should regulate and tax the activity.

But the House and its budget committee are more conservative, with many lawmakers who oppose gambling.

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