Louisiana Approves Emergency Sports Betting Rules; When Will Launch Happen?

Posted on August 19, 2021
Posted By on August 19, 2021

Sports betting in Louisiana could go live during the football season.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board adopted emergency Louisiana sports betting rules Thursday. The emergency rules go into effect Monday and expire in 180 days, allowing for the LGCB to work on permanent rules and start the sports betting licensing process for the 20 land-based and riverboat casinos in the state. If needed, the emergency rules can be extended another 180 days.

While there is no indication yet for when the sportsbooks might launch, new LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns said he believes it could be in time for betting on the NFL this year.

“This is incredible,” Johns said at Thursday’s LGCB meeting. “This is a lot of hard work that went into putting this together and very comprehensive. I don’t think any of us had an inkling we’d be adopting these this quickly.

“This has been the No. 1 question asked of me: When is sports betting coming?”

Who gets LA sports betting licenses?

In the enacting legislation, the 20 riverboat and land-based casinos in the state can apply for a sports betting license. Each license can operate up to two skins for mobile sports betting.

During the legislative process, one of the bill sponsors, Rep. John Stefanski, told LSR the emergency rules would allow for operators to capture some football.

“I’m more optimistic now [that sports betting will launch during football season],” Stefanski said after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the first of three sports betting bills in June. “We gave the gaming control board the ability to give provisional licenses, so even if they don’t have a physical sportsbook built, they can go live with a mobile application. It’s very likely.”

The Louisiana Lottery also receives a license, which will allow it to operate a mobile application as well as kiosks at bars and restaurants.

Potential sportsbooks in LA

A safe bet is Caesars Sportsbook, as the company owns a Harrah‘s casino in New Orleans. Caesars recently took over the naming rights to the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, as well as launched a new nationwide branding campaign.

BetMGM and DraftKings both mentioned Louisiana in recent earnings reports, so they likely will launch in the state as well.

Other sportsbooks with connections to casinos in Louisiana include:

  • Bally Bet
  • Barstool Sportsbooks
  • FanDuel
  • Golden Nugget
  • TwinSpires

Louisiana sports betting process

The hope for sports betting this football season began November 2020, when a majority of Louisianans voted to approve sports betting. Legislators jumped in quickly to pass three bills to regulate and tax sports betting in Louisiana. 

Edwards signed the bills in June. There was a slight delay when former LGCB Chairman Mike Noel stepped resigned June 9, but the rumored delay was dismissed by Christopher Hebert, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office Gaming Division Director.

It has been a big year for Louisiana sports bettors, as DraftKings received the state’s first daily fantasy sports license last month.

Photo by Gail Burton / The Associated Press
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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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