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March 9, 2018

Dear Friend,

capitol updateThe regular session of the legislature will convene on Monday, March 12th, at noon. Governor John Bel Edwards and this term of lawmakers will have possibly served more sessions in two short years than any other in Louisiana history (nine by my count, with a 10th projected session immediately upon adjournment.) Regrettably, everything from recreational marijuana, redefining marriage, and accommodating same sex privilege to 37 bills expanding or deregulating gambling are on the agenda!

One such measure, HB 245 by Rep. Major Thibaut (D-New Roads), would legalize sports betting and table games at race tracks.

Jeremy Alford of La Politics opined, "If it (HB 245) passes, Louisianans would be able to legally bet on the Saints or the Pelicans _ or even hockey, boxing, tennis, wrestling or jai alai — at race tracks. The bill also paves the way for tracks to host craps, blackjack and poker."

Thibaut's stated goal is to "diversify" gaming. "They're stuck with (only) slot machines," he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the federal ban on sports betting as early as this summer. The cash-starved Capitol crowd, looking for additional tax revenue, is holding out hope that they will be able to generate tax revenue from recreational marijuana, a proposed hotel/restaurant expansion at Harrah's Casino in New Orleans, and the relocation of a riverboat from Bossier City to the un-navigable Tangpohia River, which is more like a creek most of the year.

Eighteen states are projected to introduce bills to regulate sports betting this year, with 11 having a good chance of passing legislation. Rep. Thibaut, a quarter horse breeder from New Roads, and thirty-six other authors are betting Louisiana's future on gambling's glory.

I'm far more skeptical. I'll admit that, if I were a betting man, I would bet on the white horse in the last race and against these measures (Rev. 19:11-16)!

In His Service,
Gene Mills
Louisiana Family Forum

P.S. — I encourage you to join us at this year's Pastor's Briefing! Click the image below to RSVP your seat! Don't miss it!