Betting on the ballot? Louisiana proposition puts sports wagers in play

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — It was in 2018 when voters in 47 or Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted to legalize fantasy sports wagers. Now on the 2020 ballot, another yes-or-no proposition: Should your parish legalize sports betting when the games are real?

Such wagers would only be legal in parishes where “yes” voters hold a majority. Those who want it say people already bet on sporting events off the books. Legalization, they argue, would let parish and state governments get dollars from it. Supporters also stress that people should spend their money however they want.

“The Legislature would then go on to set up a regulatory regime for this, and they would tax it,” said Public Affairs Research Council president Robert Travis Scott, whose organization published a nonpartisan guide to propositions and amendments on Louisiana’s fall ballots. “You would get state tax and probably some local tax out of it if your parish approves this.”

Opponents claim sports betting would lead to younger people gambling their money. And they question how much money the state would get from legalization, arguing government and gaming should not mix.

“They see a lot of societal ills that come out of betting,” Scott said. “They don’t like the fact that this is targeting young people.”

Early voting runs through Tuesday, Oct. 27. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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