Legalizing sports betting in Louisiana now in the hands of voters

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 6:25 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - It may not be legal, but sports betting has been around for ages. Now, supporters of the measure say the state will benefit from it while others feel there are more negative effects than positive.

In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law Senate Bill 130. That bill gives voters the chance to either approve or deny sports betting on a parish-by-parish basis come November. What that means is that if most voters in any of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approve sports betting, it will be authorized in that parish.

It’s something Les Bernal, Executive Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, urges voters to stray away from.

“Well, if the people of Louisiana want to make their citizens poorer, if you want to pay higher taxes, and if you want to create a whole generation of kids being addicted, then you should vote for sports gambling,” Bernal said.

Bernal calls the legalization of sports betting a con to the American people.

“Whether you gamble or not, you end up paying for this,” Bernal said.

Supporters of this issue say this could be beneficial for the state.

Richard Carbo is with the Louisiana Wins coalition. It is a campaign pushing for voters to say yes. He says the revenue from legal sports betting could be used in critical areas.

“We have infrastructure needs; we have roads and bridges that need repair. We have education that we always talk about is under-funding. We have teachers that need pay raises,” Carbo said. “These are all things that could benefit from additional funding.”

If there is something that both groups can agree on, it is that they urge voters to do their research before heading to the polls.

The early voting period runs from Friday, October 16, 2020, to Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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