Eight other states across the country have legalized wagering on professional and college athletic events since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had previously prevented most states from getting into the sports betting game. Estimates vary on how much Louisiana’s state budget will be boosted by the new form of gaming, but legalization has drawn support from a bipartisan group of legislators and is backed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, who says he worries that Louisiana casinos are at a disadvantage while neighboring Mississippi allows sports betting in casinos. The big issue this session is where the up to $50 million estimated annually in gaming tax collections might go, as some have been trying to dedicate the dollars to priorities such as early childhood education initiatives.
More: How sports betting, early childhood education in Louisiana might become an unlikely alliance