Gaming officials in Louisiana are targeting casinos sportsbooks to start operating in early October in the state. However, smartphones wagering is expected to take longer before getting licensed.
Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman, Ronnie Johns, claims that sports betting in the state would have begun in September, but Hurricane Ida pushed that date back by a month.
Ronnie Johns, was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to lead a nine-member Board this summer. Johns earlier served as a Republican state senator for Lake Charles, one of the state gambling hubs.
Edwards also signed the legislation legalizing sports betting in 55 parishes that approved it in last year’s election. Sports betting in the state will only begin once rules and tax regulating the industry are set.
Johns adds that eight state-regulated casinos have applied for sportsbook licenses. Louisiana has 13 riverboat casinos, 4 racinos, and one land-based casino.
Betting on smartphones will have to wait longer since the companies operating betting apps will be approved later. State casinos are also looking to partner with these companies in offering mobile wagering.
“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.”
Betting in bars, kiosks, and restaurants is unlikely until 2022. Louisiana Lottery Corp, the agency overseeing gambling kiosks, says it is looking for vendors and setting the rules for the industry.