Sports Betting in Louisiana Could Start Sometime This FallLouisiana
Sports bettors in Louisiana can rejoice. It's expected that sports betting operations in the state will begin sometime this fall, while the NFL and NCAA football seasons are still going on.
This week, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board passed emergency rules for sports betting in the state. This allows the board to start working on adopting the permanent rules and licensing procedures that will regulate sports betting within the state.
While there's no definitive start date for sports betting to launch in Louisiana, many people are confident that bettors will be able to place legal sports wagers this fall.
What the Emergency Rules Mean
By adopting the emergency rules regarding sports betting the LGCB gave itself 180 days to work on crafting and passing the permanent rules that will regulate sports betting in Louisiana. If needed, the board can also extend the emergency rules another 180 days, if they haven't finished their work by then.
The rules will go into effect on Monday, August 23. At that time, casinos and racetracks in Louisiana will be allowed to start filing applications for a sports betting license.
Lawmakers in the state believe that this will significantly speed up the entire process. It allows the licensing procedures to get underway while the regulatory agency is still finalizing the legislation.
This will take away a lot of waiting time that would push back the launch of sports betting in Louisiana. If the LGCB approves the permanent rules by the end of the 180 days, this move could save up to as much as six months, versus if they waited to start the licensing process until after the permanent rules were approved.
Who Can Get a Sports Betting License?
In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed the state's sports betting bills in June. Since then, the LGCB has been hard at work crafting the rules and regulations that will oversee sports betting throughout Louisiana.
The state's law will allow all 20 of the land-based and riverboat casinos in Louisiana to apply for a license to operate a sportsbook. The state's four racetracks can also apply for a license.
Each license that is awarded will allow the operate to also offer two "skins" for a mobile sports betting operation. This practice is similar to many other states such as New Jersey.
It allows online sportsbook operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings to offer an online sportsbook through a partnership with a local casino. This is how these companies can obtain a sportsbook license in Louisiana, since they don't already operate a casino there.
In addition, a sports betting license will be given to the Louisiana Lottery. That will allow the agency to have a mobile sportsbook, and also place sports betting kiosks at both restaurants and bars throughout the state.
The state's law prohibits betting to people who are 21 years of age or older. Youth sports and high school sports events won't be offered.
In addition, sports betting won't be offered in every parish in Louisiana. If a person lives in a parish that didn't approve sports betting back when it was legalized, they can still travel to another parish in the state to place a legal sports wager.
When Will Sports Betting Be Offered?
The exact timeline of when sports betting will be offered in Louisiana is up in the air right now. If the LGCB needs more than the 180 days it has with the emergency rules, then that would push the offering into 2022.
But, most officials in Louisiana believe sports bettors will be able to place wagers at some point in the middle of this fall's football season. The earlier, the better for the state and for sportsbook operators, as the football season is often the season with the most action for sports betting.