Sports betting to be released in October in Louisiana

After the delays caused by Hurricane Ida, Louisiana is now on track to launch statewide sports betting in early October. Next month, sports betting could start operating in the state’s casinos, while mobile betting could take longer to clear.

“We were doing projections at the end of September, but our goal now is to get it up and running by Oct. 1,” said Ronnie Johns, president of the Louisiana Board of Control of Games. Johns, Republican state senator from the Lake Charles area, was appointed to lead the nine-member Board of Control by Governor John Bel Edwards.

Hurricane Ida proved to be a delaying factor. As State Police troops were redeployed to help with disaster recovery, the Louisiana State Police’s Gaming Enforcement Division, which helps the Board of Control regulate gaming and enforce laws, has failed to operate as it normally would. . “We lost about seven to ten days,” admitted Johns. “But everything is back on track now.”

Last week, after passing emergency rules in August that allowed Louisiana’s top 20 casinos to submit license applications, the Board of Gaming Control confirmed that eight have signed up to offer sports betting in the state.

Mobile sports betting should take a few more months

Operators, in partnership with the state’s existing gaming entities, are already undergoing background checks and other important licensing measures. While face-to-face betting is due to launch in October, bettors looking to do so via their smartphones will have to wait – perhaps even a few months, according to Johns.

“Mobility takes longer because casinos use outside providers to do this work, and those providers are not yet licensed, so they have to go through the matching process and background checks with the State Police,” said the LGCB president. “We hope that some of them pass within a 60-day window.”

Another betting market that will have to wait for the launch is bar betting. The use of kiosks to place bets at bars and restaurants serving alcoholic beverages may not be allowed until early 2022. The task of overseeing these kiosks falls to the Louisiana Lottery Corp.

The agency’s president, Rose Hudson, said that the process of searching for suppliers and setting the rules for this segment of the industry should be completed in November, with a release scheduled for the beginning of next year.

It is hoped that, when launched, sports betting on bars and restaurants will be a welcome addition to these businesses. “This gives companies another way to attract customers,” Hudson said.