Online gambling – including the possibility to play online poker – could be coming to the state of Louisiana. A bill that looks to legalise it has recently appeared within the state, brought forth by Senator Daniel Martiny. This comes following a separate effort to legalise sports betting and daily fantasy sports within Louisiana. However, the online gambling bill is a little bit different to standard bills in other US states.
The bill in Louisiana would actually legalise online gaming in a parish-by-parish format. This would occur in each parish depending upon if it gets voter approval. It’s how any new forms of gambling within the Bayou State are brought into effect. Each parish within Louisiana would need to decide if they would like this online gaming referendum as part of the ballot. Naturally, a majority vote would need to be secured for this to actually happen.
Therefore, voters in the state would be asked the simple question of if internet gaming should be allowed within their parish. However, when it comes to the incorporation of online poker and other games, the earliest that citizens of the state would get to play it would be about two years from now. The Act will not become effective until January 1, 2020 – should it secure enough votes to be added to the ballot. Of course, this date is quite a long way away at the moment. However, a referendum will not actually happen until November, 2018 which means that 2020 is only slightly above a year following such a vote. This gives quite a nice time period for the online gambling launch within Louisiana.
What Is Included in the Bill?
The bill that Martiny has put forth actually resembles those that other states have either considered or put into action. It states that all patrons of online poker and casino gaming will need to be at least 21 years old, as well as located within Louisiana. The rules necessary to implement and regulate the gaming division will be done so by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB). Furthermore, licences for such online operations would also be restricted to both riverboat and land-based casinos which already hold a gambling licence from the LGCB.
For the time being though, this bill is still far from being complete. It doesn’t currently hold information about taxation rates, nor about licensing fees. As it stands, it seems to read as more of something that would begin a conversation about legalising online gambling, rather than an actual bill. It also doesn’t make any clear statements about authorising certain forms of gaming in the online world. The only thing that it does make mention of is gaming tournaments on a peer-to-peer level.
As it stands for now, this Louisiana bill informs everyone of what the Bayou State actually wants to do as far as online gaming is concerned. However, the key point missing is how both lawmakers and the state’s regulators are intending to actually make it happen.