What Will the Finalization of Sports Betting Legislation in Louisiana Mean for the State?

Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s finally happening. During a bad year for the state of Louisiana, there was a silver lining when the news that sports betting legislation is due to be passed this year came out. At the back end of 2020, a ballot measure legalizing sports betting was approved by 55/64.

Although the new law is yet to be fully introduced, the residents of Louisiana are looking forward to the potential after-effects of a momentous decision. There are zero guarantees, yet the odds are high that the state will take advantage. These are the reasons why.

Greater Tax Contributions

Attitudes towards gambling throughout America have been evolving as the general public understands the effect the wagering industry has on local economies. Tax contributions represent a significant chunk of change that could revolutionize the state’s budget and provide better resources for the locals.

One of the most important facts is that estimates put Louisiana’s potential tax profits in the tens of millions from sports betting alone. According to a WSN post outlining the changes, they are projected to reach as high as $60 million yearly for the foreseeable future. This is only good news as lawmakers expected a surplus at the start of last year.

However, there is now estimated to be $900 million less in overall tax revenue, according to state projections. As a result, the income from taxes on gambling activity will help supplement the losses and level up an area that has been left behind in recent times.

Setting a Precedent

The amount of tax is only based on the sports betting sector. But it’s clear that the legislation will pave way for other wagering markets to gain a foothold in Louisiana and the US. After all, it sets a precedent to say that gambling is allowed.

In places like Macau, this has resulted in an incredibly profitable boom. For instance, revenue in the region was equivalent to $29 billion in 2019 from gambling alone. When you combine the effect the industry has on related services, such as hospitality, the figure could reach $50 to $100 billion. Louisiana won’t rival an established player such as Macau right off the bat.

Still, it’s not about competing – it’s about the potential for greater revenues that lead to improved amenities. This is partly why so many people in the state and the US don’t view betting in the same light.

Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

More Tourism

A sector that’s likely to benefit is tourism. Visitors already spend upwards of $15 billion a year in the state, making travel a considerable part of the economy. However, countries and states are now in competition as governments recognize the value of the industry.

One way to stand out from the crowd is to invest in travel gambling. Las Vegas is the king, and not only because it has fancy casinos with excellent atmospheres. It has bustling dining, sport, and entertainment markets, too. They can account for almost one-fifth of an establishment’s gross income, showcasing the boost they can add to Louisiana’s economy.

Hopefully, the finalization of sports betting laws will mean more money for the state. In turn, that should result in improved facilities for locals and tourists when the bill is passed sometime in 2021.

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