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Daily Tax Report: State

Louisiana Governor Approves 8% Fantasy Sports Betting Tax Rate

July 14, 2020, 9:09 PM

Louisiana’s governor has approved an 8% tax rate on fantasy sports betting in about four dozen parishes that legalized it in 2018.

The competitions for online cash prizes couldn’t begin until the state set the rules and tax rate.

The legislation (H.B. 64) was among several tax bills pitched as coronavirus recovery measures by Louisiana’s Republican-led Legislature to secure approval from Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Monday.

Edwards approved regulations for fantasy sports betting last month. The 8% tax rate will apply to the net revenue for all fantasy sports contests.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D)
Photographer: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Edwards also approved new tax credits for hotels, restaurants, and retailers with fewer than 50 workers (H.B. 13) and (H.B. 19).

Businesses required to collect and pay sales taxes can keep 1.05% of those tax collections for themselves, an increase from 0.935%, under H.B. 11.

Louisiana taxpayers diagnosed with Covid-19, or whose tax preparers were, won’t face penalties or interest for late returns or payments under H.B. 37. The waivers apply to all 2019 or 2020 taxes due between March 11 and July 15, and proof of a Covid-19 diagnosis may be requested by the Department of Revenue.

A 20% tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings now extends through Jan. 1, 2026, under H.B. 4.

More Tax Breaks

Several other tax breaks also received Edwards’ approval, including the suspension for one year of part of Louisiana’s corporate franchise tax (S.B. 6).

One of the largest that lawmakers proposed in their 30-day special session last month benefits Louisiana’s gambling industry. That legislation (S.B. 5), which Edwards signed, allows for $5 million of net gaming proceeds attributable to promotional play wagers to be deducted from gaming operator revenue—subject to taxes and fees—for riverboat casinos, land-based casinos, and racetrack slot machines.

A tax credit program for certain research and development expenses has been extended through 2025, under S.B. 4.

Edwards has ordered cabinet agencies to prepare for possible mid-year budget cuts by putting aside 10% of their budgets. He recommended the same measures to the state’s judicial and legislative branches, and he enacted a hiring freeze for state employees.

“While there are cuts in the budget, federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding allowed us to avoid making them even more catastrophic,” Edwards said in a July 8 statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Kay in Miami at jkay@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

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