Legislators to consider legalization of sports gambling
BATON ROUGE- Sports betting, land-based casinos, and a referendum on statewide gambling are up for debate at the Louisiana Capitol this year. So far, lawmakers have filed sixteen gaming bills for the regular session.
Republican State Senator Daniel Martiny has one to let river boat casinos move to land. Baton Rouge has three stationary casinos on the Mississippi River.
Martiny said allowing them to relocate on solid ground would protect the property in case of disastrous weather. He pointed to Mississippi, which allowed its Gulf Coast casinos to move on land after Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the barge-based structures in 2005.
Martiny is also proposing a statewide referendum on sports gambling. He said the U.S. Supreme Court could soon allow it outside Nevada. He said legalizing it would bring in revenue at a time lawmakers are squabbling over new taxes.
Anticipating increased gambling in Louisiana, Republican Senator Dan Morrish wants to scoop up extra revenue to fund TOPS. Morrish’s bill dedicates all future tax revenue that exceeds this years collection to the college scholarship program.
He said lawmakers are failing to provide a stable revenue source for the program and his bill would help.