Louisiana Targeting Early October Launch for Sports Betting

Louisiana Targeting Early October Launch for Sports Betting

Louisiana’s sports betting launch was delayed by Hurricane Ida, but the state’s Gaming Control Board remains hopeful for an early October start.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told the USA Today Network recently the state is targeting Oct. 1 as a potential date.

"Every State Police trooper (in the agency's Gaming Enforcement Division) was reassigned to disaster recovery for about a week," Johns told the USA Today Network. "We lost about seven to 10 days, but everything is back on track now.

"We had been projecting late September, but our goal now is to have them up and running by Oct. 1."

Casinos Will Be First To Launch

Retail sportsbooks at land-based casinos, racetracks, or one of the state’s 20 riverboat casinos will be the first to take sports bets in Louisiana. According to Johns, eight casinos have applied for gaming licenses.

Caesars has already started to advertise its own sportsbook at the New Orleans Caesars facility. It also has the naming rights for the Louisiana Superdome.

The state’s online launch will take longer because potential operators must pass the regulatory and licensing process. Licensing has yet to start, according to Johnson.

"Mobile takes longer because the casinos use outside vendors to do that work, and those vendors haven't been licensed yet, so they have to go through the suitability process and background checks with the State Police," Johnson told the USA Today Network. "We're hoping to have some of those approved in a 60-day window."

Louisiana Sports Betting was Fast-Tracked

In August, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved emergency sports betting regulations for licenses and platform provider application forms. This let the state move closer to a retail and online launch.

When sports betting was brought to the ballot in November 2020 to expand gambling in Louisiana, voters in 55 of the 64 parishes approved the measure. The state will approve 20 licenses among the 15 current casinos and five racinos, with two skins allowed per license. There will also be a 10% tax on retail bets and a 15% tax on online bets.