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Louisiana is not timid regarding its love of gambling as a form of public entertainment, its four federally-approved Indian casinos and 43 state-licensed casinos already expected to contribute $644.2 million in gambling revenues to the 2021 fiscal budget.
And that doesn’t even include sports betting – yet.
Now that thirteen of Louisiana’s traditional casinos have applied to handle sports betting with the other seven expected to follow their lead by the start of next year, those state gambling revenues should see a major increase giving residents an even larger yearly windfall.
These thirteen first applicants are close to being able to start taking wagers on baseball, football, and other events, however, there are a few more hurdles they must get past before they can begin opening up their sports gambling doors to the public.
For a Louisiana casino to begin legally taking in sports bets, the Louisiana State Police is required to vet the operators, their staffs, and all the procedures to which they will adhere, a time-consuming process that was delayed when personnel was diverted to handle the effects of Hurricane Ida.
Keep in mind that each casino must first set up some type of lounge area that strictly limits access to the sportsbook to only players who are 21 years of age and older in addition to laying out the security procedures that they will be following.
All those locational plans and security procedures need to pass state muster, a duty that is now underway and with several of the casinos reportedly “ready to go” but for that paperwork, so it should not take too much longer before they can move on to face the next hurdle.
That hurdle being Ronnie Johns, the chair of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB).
Once a casino has been properly vetted, LGCB Chairman Johns has the power to sign a temporary certificate of operation that would allow that casino to start offering sports betting to its customers, the final step in a process that began last November.
That’s when 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes voted ‘yes’ to approve a referendum to legalize sports betting in their areas, beginning the tricky journey towards implementing the same sports gambling market that is already legal in nearby states like Mississippi and Arkansas.
As for these temporary certificates of operation, Chairman Johns is ready to issue them to any casino that qualifies, although he does not see that happening until at least the end of October, telling the press:
I seriously doubt I’ll have any [temporary certificates of operation] to sign in the next two weeks. But I am anticipating some recommendations very soon.
Great news for Pelican State bettors who have been waiting patiently to place their sports bets, and even better news for a state that could use the extra revenue after surviving yet another devastating hurricane that cost it precious lives and countless money.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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