Louisiana sports betting set to launch 1 November

Legalised sports betting in Louisiana could start as soon as 1 November.

Ronnie Johns, Head of the Lousiana Gaming Control Board, mentioned the first casinos are close to getting licences for sports betting and commented: “I understand the public wants this very badly, and we’re working overtime. But we’ve got to dot our I’s and cross our T’s.”

Out of the total of 20 licensed riverboats, racinos and Harrah’s land-based casinos in the state, 13 have applied for licences to handle sports betting. Harrah’s has turned the former Acme Oyster House restaurant into a temporary sportsbook with seating for around 75 people. The remaining seven gambling locations are expected to apply to sports betting licences before January 2022.

Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville has been taking sports wagers since 6 October; the property is not regulated by the state.

However, the resort is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Lousiana, and therefore the compacts the tribes have with the Federal Government allow the tribe to operate casino games approved by the state voters.

Johns added that things are moving forward with getting mobile betting approved and said: “Our goal was to have it up and running by the first of the year. We’re ahead in the ball game.”

The plan is to allow sports betting in state-regulated casinos at first and, because of the extensive compliance process, mobile betting is to follow eventually.

The State Police has investigated all state-licensed casinos, but the vendors for betting websites and apps need a full review. The Police also has to ensure the geofencing works properly, so people who live in parishes that didn’t approve of sports betting aren’t able to place bets on any devices.