The People Have Spoken: Majority of Louisiana Voters Passed Sports Betting Proposal

Man placing bet on machine

On November 3, 2020, Louisiana overwhelmingly showed support for the legalization of sports betting. Out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, 55 voted yes on the proposal that will allow betting on sports and other contests in the parishes where the proposal was approved. Staggering numbers of voters participated in the election. The proposal passed with 65% of the vote – 1.3 million votes – as opposed to the 35% opposed – 683,000 votes. Some parishes endorsed the proposal by margins of 70% or more. Louisiana parishes that voted in favor of the proposal with the largest margins include Orleans, Jefferson, Livingston, Ascension, St. Tammany and East Baton Rouge. 


While most of Louisiana is celebrating the good news, it is only the beginning of seeing it come to fruition. State lawmakers will have to come to an agreement on how sports betting will be taxed as well as decide how people will be able to place bets. They will be tasked with deciding if people will be able to place bets online as well as other designated gambling locations. 

Potential Revenue

While the large percentage of people that voted to accept the proposal might seem surprising, there is no surprise why. Louisiana’s gambling industry brings in major revenue to the state. With 52 casinos in 30 cities across the state, Louisiana casinos are missing out on a lot of money that could be helping the local economies. Not only are casinos missing out on revenue, they are losing customers who would rather travel to Oklahoma, Arkansas or Mississippi where sports betting is already legal. State Senator Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City, explained why he wanted his constituents to vote in favor of the proposal:

“I do hope that Caddo and Bossier will pass this. It’s important for our riverboats and Louisiana Downs to compete with Arkansas and Oklahoma.”

The parishes that approved the proposal also expect to see more jobs for their community and money for state services. Louisiana Wins, a group that rallied for the approval of the proposition, estimated that Louisiana is losing $330 million dollars of revenue each year to our neighboring states, Mississippi and Arkansas. That amount of revenue for the state could be used to help the community by funding education, infrastructure and other state services. 

Local Support 

Of course Orleans is one of the parishes that embraced sports betting. Out of the 30 cities with casinos in Louisiana, New Orleans has the most with 5 casinos. Not only do locals feel it will bring in more revenue for the city and state, but more jobs that so many need during this pandemic. The Big Easy loves their music, liquor, food and gambling. In a city that eats and breathes Saints football, lives for LSU sports and loves their Pelicans, why wouldn’t they support sports betting? Hopefully soon residents can check out their NFL Expert Picks online and also be able to place a bet! In reality, a lot of people are already betting on sports, but doing so illegally, or across state lines. With this proposal passing, our residents can now feel safe to make legal bets and know that it is benefiting their local economy. 

Some Were Opposed

Not everyone is happy about allowing for additional gambling in the state. When The Advocate spoke with Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills about the proposal, he expressed his concern for citizens, stating,  “Louisiana Family Forum opposes sports betting because it, like other forms of wagering, drains personal wealth from Louisiana citizens promising payouts which are realistically — undeliverable. This results in life-altering losses for the gambler family. Louisiana taxpayers are left to pick up the broken pieces of bad bets and the lives they destroy.”

While their concern is good intentioned, Louisiana citizens that enjoy gambling are already wagering on sports, just illegally or out of state. 



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