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Louisiana advances fixed-odds betting bill for horse racing

Louisiana horse racing news

On Monday, a Louisiana legislative committee approved a measure to permit fixed-odds betting on horse racing in the state’s gambling venues, placing them alongside other bets in sportsbooks like football or basketball games.

House Bill 564 was backed by House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) and faced no opposition when it was put before the House Commerce Committee on Monday. It is also supported by the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

According to the group’s executive director, Ed Fenasci, who appeared before the House Commerce Committee, allowing fixed-odds wagers on horse racing would boost the number of gamblers interested in the activity.

Fixed-odds betting ensures wagers are paid off at the initial rate regardless of whatever bets are made on a race after. This is in contrast to pari-mutuel betting, which is prevalent on horse racing tracks, where the odds change depending on how much money is wagered on a certain outcome.

HB 564 will also decrease the tax on fixed-odds betting profits from 25% to 15%, so as to encourage sportsbooks to offer fixed markets on horse racing. Fenasci stated that the previous rate was too high for gambling venues to operate and earn profits.

If the bill is passed, the state’s horse racing industry will see a significant change. It could also increase the income brought in by the racing association and casinos.

In December 2022, the Louisiana sports betting industry reeled in $37 million, breaking its previous record revenue. The figure marks the fourth time sportsbooks in the state have recorded over $30 million in a month, and it is currently the highest-grossing month for Louisiana’s sports betting industry.

Mobile sports betting, which totaled $30.5 million, contributed to the majority of the sum, while retail sports betting was responsible for $6.4 million.

Football was a key player in both retail and mobile sportsbook profits for the month. While retail gaming operators recorded $2.9 million from football-related wagers, mobile sportsbooks amassed $7.2 million.

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