Louisiana Senator Backs Mobile Sports Betting, Predicts it ‘Probably’ Will Pass 

Posted on: April 20, 2021, 04:44h. 

Last updated on: April 21, 2021, 04:38h.

Another Louisiana state senator is voicing support for online sports betting and is predicting it “probably” will win approval at the Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Capital
The Louisiana Capitol rises above the landscaped grounds north of downtown Baton Rouge. The Legislature is in session at the Capitol until early June. (Image: KATC-TV)

State Sen. Barrow Peacock (R) recently told KTBS-TV reporter Jeff Beimfohr that he supports online sports wagering.

The Louisiana Legislature is in its second week of a two-month session that ends June 10.

Peacock, who represents the Shreveport area, said the debate this session will be whether to restrict sports betting to in-person wagering inside casinos, or to allow bets on mobile devices such as smartphones.

I would say, ‘Let’s go full mobile,’” Peacock said in a live interview from Baton Rouge. “That is the way of the future, our phones.”

He predicted “full mobile” probably will win approval at the Legislature. However, the senator said mobile sports betting will have to be connected to Louisiana-based casinos. 

Peacock said he wants to keep Louisiana competitive with neighboring states, such as Arkansas and Mississippi, which also allow sports betting. These two states allow sports waging inside casinos, but do not permit mobile sports betting. Mississippi is home to 26 commercial casinos. Arkansas has three licensed casinos.

A Little Rock lobbying firm representing DraftKings and other mobile sports-betting companies has approached Arkansas gaming regulators and is seeking a rule change to allow online waging in the state. Gaming officials have not acted on the request. 

In Arkansas, casinos could create their own mobile sports betting apps. However, the online wagers would have to be made while the bettor is on casino property. With a rule change, casinos could partner with national companies in allowing mobile sports betting off-site, state officials told Casino.org. 

‘Meaningful Revenue’

In November, Louisiana voters approved sports betting in 55 of 64 parishes. The ballot measure did not specify whether the bets had to be placed inside casinos at sportsbooks or could be done online.

Louisiana has 13 riverboat casinos, a land-based casino in New Orleans, and four racinos. 

State Senate President Page Cortez (R) has said sports betting could generate “meaningful revenue” only if allowed on mobile devices. Cortez is from Lafayette.    

Cortez and two other Republican senators have introduced Senate Bill 202, which would allow mobile sports betting. It is one of a half-dozen bills at the legislature addressing sports waging. With issues such as taxation and regulation still be resolved, gaming officials have said legal sports betting probably won’t take place in Louisiana until 2022.

Bettors Favor Mobile Wagering

Nationwide, most sports betting is conducted online.

During the first two months of this year, 85 percent of sports wagering across the country was done on devices such as smartphones and computers.

In New Jersey, 92 percent of sports wagering occurred on mobile devices last year. New Jersey is the nation’s largest sports-betting market.

Online gaming is legal in 15 states and Washington, D.C. Tennessee is the only Southern state that allows online sports betting. Tennessee does not have casinos.