YOUR LOCAL ELECTION HEADQUARTERS: Sports betting will be on the November ballot; Decisions made parish by parish

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RUSTON, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– When it comes to sports, betting has always been around, but it’s not legal in Louisiana. At least not yet. Come November, Louisianans will have the power to make sports betting legal in their parish.

“As far as our parish [Lincoln Parish] I could not tell you how it would come out, I would not even speculate,” Mayor Walker said. “I think you will have a lot of parishes, though, that will vote it in.”

If passed, this means on-site retail sports betting would be allowed at the state’s existing riverboat casinos and at racetracks around the state, but not online. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board would be the regulator.

“If it’s like most states, you can bet on college and professional sports,” Mayor Walker said.

Due to COVID-19, the legislative sessions were shortened, so Louisiana lawmakers simplified the ballot with the idea that if it is to pass, they will finalize the details during the 2021 session.

Voters will have the option of choosing “yes” or “no”, but the referandum doesn’t go into detail on the ballot. That’s why Mayor Walker said it’s important to research before heading to the polls.

“There’s things on the ballot that nobody would have ever thought would be on there,” Mayor Walker said. “So we really need to get prepared when we walk in that voting booth, and I want to encourage everybody right now in our parish and across the state to go vote. It’s a right and it’s a privilege. A lot of people sacrifice their lives over the years for us to have that freedom so I hope everyone will exercise that freedom.”

He said there is no data that can show how much revenue would come into the state from this, but officials say it would help Louisiana’s Gambling industry compete.

Louisiana, Maryland, and South Dakota will be voting on the Sports Wagering Act.

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