Louisiana will tax Sports Betting at lower rate than Casino games: Ronnie Johns

Louisiana will tax Sports Betting at lower rate than Casino games: Ronnie Johns

Louisiana is on the way to legalize sports betting, and this activity will be taxed at a lower rate than casino games when lawmakers will assemble to set rates in the upcoming legislative session, Senator Ronnie Johns (R) said.

Sen. Johns said the Pelican State has to be careful not to tax sports betting at a higher rate than casino games, which are taxed at around 21 per cent in the state. The Republican senator stressed that taxing sports betting at a rate higher than casino games would severely limit the number of potential bidders that are willing to invest in this business.

Speaking on the topic, he said, “We tax the 15 riverboat licenses and the land-based casinos at a 21 per cent tax. Sports betting won’t be taxed at that rate. We have to be very careful in not overtaxing sports betting because, if you do so, you’re going to severely limit the number of entities around the state that would be willing to inject into the sports betting business.”

More and more states across the nation are in search of new streams of revenue to fix their deficits, particularly after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As casinos and other gaming facilities can offer an efficient revenue stream, states like Louisiana are eager to expand their gaming industries.

In November 2020, voters in the Pelican State approved a proposal for legalization of sports betting in 55 of 64 parishes. It may be noted here that the vote allows sports betting to be legalized only within the boundaries of the parish where it obtained voters’ approval. The proposal was approved overwhelmingly in parishes with large cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

However, a number of issues remain to be fixed before sports betting facilities are granted legal status in the state. Setting tax rates for sports betting is one of them. State legislators are all set to meet at the Capitol in Baton Rouge on 12th of April this year. Lawmakers will also have to determine regulations and decide whether state residents will be permitted to place bets through mobile phones or only in-person inside a casino at a sportsbook or kiosk.

Louisiana’s two-month legislative session will end on 10th of June. As tax issues in the state can only be addressed in odd-numbered years, the next effort to tax sports betting will not take place until 2023 if the lawmakers fail to reach an agreement this year.