Louisiana state representative seeks to ban sports betting adverts

Caesars Superdome in New Orleans
Image: Shutterstock

A New Orleans-based lawmaker is pushing for sports betting ads on TV to be made illegal across the state of Louisiana.

Sports betting is legal in 55 of the Pelican State’s 64 parishes, including in almost all areas of New Orleans and, as in many jurisdictions, is heavily advertised by sportsbooks and partners.

But State Representative Shaun Mena‘s House Bill 727 seeks to prohibit the advertising of sports betting and daily fantasy sports on television.

“I’m not proposing that we ban online sports betting, not at all — I’m just want to ban the advertisement of it,” Democrat State Rep. Mena, who has been office for two months, told WDSU News. “I’m fighting for the young men and women who are addicted to these products. Young men under the age of 35 are the largest demographic of online gambling addicts.”

Louisiana’s gaming industry brought $200 million in revenue last year and employs thousands of people across its various avenues. While online sports betting has been legal in 55 parishes since Jan. 22, the industry’s popularity is not limited to online play, with a strong land-based casino presence centered around properties such as Margaritaville Resort Casino, Harrah’s New Orleans, and Louisiana Downs, to name but a few. You only have to look at the name of the New Orleans SaintsCaesars Superdome home stadium to see how much the industry is part of daily life.

Mena’s bill is only concerned with sports betting and daily fantasy sports promotion, but all things considered, Mena’s fellow state politicians believe it’s unlikely the bill will make much headway.

“I would say, if I had to bet on it — no pun intended — that the bill will not get very far,” Republican State Sen. Kirk Talbot told WDSU. “I don’t think it’s good for business.”

The bill has been assigned to a House committee but it’s not yet certain that it will be heard.

Louisiana bill follows similar federal proposal

Mena isn’t the only politician who has raised concerns over gambling advertisements.

In February 2023, Rep. Paul Tonko from New York introduced the Betting On Our Future Act that sought to ban gaming ads on television, radio and websites. Like Mena’s bill, Tonko’s efforts focused purely on sports betting rather than other forms of gaming.

Since then, Tonko has continued advocating for his bill’s proposal amid the proliferation of online betting adverts across the U.S., but no other member of Congress has publicly endorsed his campaign.

Cait DeBaun, the American Gaming Association‘s vice president for strategic communications and responsibility, said that Tonko’s comments “ignore the hard work and commitment of thousands of state and tribal gaming regulators who work every day to safeguard consumers, uphold marketplace integrity, and enforce the law.”