Bill taxing sports betting moves on for debate

State News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Sports betting is one step closer to being a reality for Louisianians. The House Ways and Means committee took up Representative John Stefanski’s bill on Wednesday that lays out how sports betting is going to be taxed both inside retail facilities as well as on the mobile apps.

Rep. Stefanki presented a substitute bill that outlined the taxation of sports betting in casinos and bars as well as on a mobile app. It would be 10% inside a facility and 18% on the app. It is one of the higher taxes out of the states that provides sports betting in the courts. The tax would not affect the consumer.

“That’s the company that is providing the service or the licensee. It’s based on their net gaming proceeds,” Rep. Stefanski said. “So you take out what was bet, what was wagered, to take that money and it taxes that.”

The committee was in favor of the bill, but have their concerns regarding the money going towards K-12 schools. Rep. Setfanski also requested some of the money go towards a fund helping people with disabilities. They want to make sure it does not remove funds coming from the lottery.

“We’re going to get with the fiscal division and make sure that wouldn’t happen, make sure this would be additional money and not an offset,” Rep. Stefanski said.

Rep. Stefanski believes the tax rate is fair and competitive to make people want to stay in Louisiana for their betting. It also outlined how the taxes would be collected digitally in the parishes that approved sports betting when using an app.

“My motivation is the citizens of Louisiana. They passed this in 55 of the 64 parishes, they want it,” Rep. Stefanski said. “That’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing this because I have constituents and people reaching out to me saying make sure this becomes a reality in Louisiana.”

A lot of the committee members had questions about how the funds will be moving through the state programs. Rep. Stefanski said he would sit down with them to further improve the bill. Another representative is taking on a bill that would manage how sports betting is regulated in the parishes that voted to approve the measure. He wants to make sure sports betting makes it through the session this year. 

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