Sports Betting in Louisiana: Do We Know Where All That Money Will Go?
Remember not so many years ago, when the lottery came to Louisiana (1990)? And not too long after that (1993) came casino gambling and the riverboats?
Remember Those Big Promises?
And along with those came big promises. The mountains of cash that those two would generate would transform Louisiana, they said. Why, it was practically guaranteed that in almost no time at all the state would be transformed and our roads and bridges would be the top notch and our education system would be the envy of the nation.
Well, after all these years and all those billions of dollars later, how'd that work out for us?
And now what's old is new again. Sports betting, both on-site and mobile, has come to Louisiana and with it more promises of big cash for the state's coffers. So, where's it going to go?
Where will Sports Gambling Money Go?
When Senate Bill 247 was passed last July, tax payment amounts on sports wagering were established : A 10% tax at on-site sportsbook locations and 15% tax on mobile sports betting.
According to the new rules, the bulk of the revenue generated by sports betting will be allocated to early childhood education, local governments, and mental health wellness.
Another bill, SB 142, passed last June, details how that money will be spent.
Just over 40% of the incoming sports betting revenue (41.5% to be exact) is allocated to specific funds. The remaining money (58.5%) will be “available as state general funds."
Here's the breakdown:
- 2%, or $500,000, whichever is greater, goes to the Behavioral Health and Wellness Fund.
- 2%, not to exceed $500,000, will be credited to the Disability Affairs Trust Fund.
- 2.5% will go to the Sports Wagering Purse Supplement Fund.
- 10% will go to the Sports Wagering Local Allocation Fund.
- 25%, not exceeding $20 million, will go toward the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund.
How Much $$$ Will It Generate? It's Hard to Say Right Now
In numerous conversations with KEEL, Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns says it's hard to estimate of how much money the state from sports betting, but he adds that within a few months, we'll all have an idea what will be added to the state budget.