Were you one of the millions of people that had a little money riding on last night's NCAA Championship game? Were you one of tens of millions of people who put money in on an NCAA tournament bracket? If you did that in Louisiana then you were breaking the law. It didn't stop you but it wasn't legal.

If Senator Daniel Martiny's legislation passes through a Senate committee later today Louisiana could be one step closer to legalized sports betting. Martiny, who represents Metairie, suggests that his bill would not increase the scope of gambling in the state. It would simply regulate the wagering and give the state a chance to cash in on a multi-billion-dollar business.

Currently, federal law prohibits any kind of sports wagering outside the state of Nevada. The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case that would allow individual states to take up the concept of sports gaming. Martiny believes it could be part of the solution to the state's budget woes.

If we need revenue, and you don't want to raise taxes and you don't want to make the cuts, here are two options.  If you don't want to avail yourself of it, that's fine.  We're going to have to eventually make cuts that no one is going to want to make.

Those are Martiny's remarks to the Louisiana Radio Network.

Here is something to consider. If Louisiana doesn't allow sports betting you know Mississippi will. Arkansas legislators are currently positioning their state to allow that kind of wagering as well.

The facts are this. Sports betting is going on and will continue to go on. It would only make sense for the state to step in, regulate, oversee, and collect a percentage of the pool. It might be Louisiana's best bet to get out of our budgetary woes and let someone else pay the bill.



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