The Louisiana Senate has approved a measure that would legalize sports wagering in the state. The bill sponsored by New Orleans area Senator Danny Martinez would make it legal for Louisiana's riverboat casinos to offer wagering on sporting events as part of their gaming profile.

Up next for the legislation will be Louisiana's House of Representatives. Some pundits say that passage in the House might be more difficult than it was for the Senate. Pundits cite the tendency of House members to be a little more conservative in their representation of their districts.

In speaking on behalf of his legislation Martinez stated the obvious, that sports wagering is already going on in the state. It's just not legal, it's not sanctioned, and it's not providing any revenue to the state. Martinez suggests his legislation would at least give the state the ability to regulate and monetize what is already happening.

The measure would also level the playing field between Louisiana's casino industry and casinos in Mississippi where sports wagering has been legal late last year. Casino operators in Mississippi say they have already noticed an impact the legalized sports wagering has had on their bottom line. The House is expected to begin debate on the legislation in the coming days.