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Despite mounds of political red tape and a deadly hurricane, Louisiana finally managed to launch its statewide legal sports betting market by officially issuing licenses to four commercial casinos last Friday.
The move happened when Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) Chairman Ronnie Johns signed licenses for these four casinos late last week:
On Friday, a thrilled Johns told the media:
It was a good day, excited that we got something started. This morning the state police sent over the recommendation to license these four casinos. We’re moving forward with the outstanding applications and hopefully, within the next few days, we’ll roll out another batch.
In other words, let Louisiana sports gambling begin.
The journey towards legal sports betting market in the Bayou State started back in June when Governor John Bel Edwards signed the approved legislation into law, but it was going to take time for state police to approve all the applications for a license, their work made tougher by the deadly landing of Hurricane Ida.
Despite the many delays, though, Chairman Johns still had his sights set for a late fall launch as we previously reported in Louisiana Gaming Chairman “Pushing Hard for Nov. 1” Retail Sports Betting Launch.
Now with those four licenses officially issued, Louisiana bettors can begin placing wagers at the Caesars Sportsbooks at Harrah’s New Orleans and the Horseshoe Casino, which opened on Sunday, and at the L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge and Boomtown, near New Orleans, which opened their sportsbooks Monday.
The next goal, according to Johns, will be to launch mobile sports betting by January 1, 2022, a plan that includes FanDuel and DraftKings, two big players in that market who he says will bring their existing heat to Louisiana.
Those are the big guys, they’re licensed everywhere. That’s going to be the key to make this whole thing successful: mobile.
But there is still more retail work to be done.
So far, 13 of the 20 casinos and racinos eligible for sports betting in Louisiana have applied for their licenses, and the remaining nine are still under the scrutiny of State Police whose job is to ensure all applicants are officially vetted.
This means each potential licensee and its operators, staff, and procedures must meet the standards that have been set before any license is issued and permission to accept sports wagers is granted.
Sports betting in Louisiana technically began back in October when a Betfred Sportsbook opened at the tribal-owned Paragon Casino, an exception made allowable because the casino lives on tribal land, so it did not require approval from the LGCB.
But now even the commercial casinos are getting the sports betting green light in Sportsman’s Paradise and that existing money flow can finally be redirected back to the state, financial relief that should benefit all Louisiana residents.
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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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