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La. sports betting delayed until appointment of new regulator

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a new roadblock in the race to get sports betting up and running across Louisiana.

The state is delaying the implementation of sports gambling until a new gambling regulatory chief is appointed.

Former Gaming Control Board Chairman Mike Noel resigned on June 9, rather than answer questions before a Senate confirmation hearing about his actions as a Louisiana State Police commander in connection with the 2019 in-custody death of Ronald Greene.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’s spokeswoman, Christina Stephens, provided this statement:

“The Governor is working to find a commissioner with the right skill and experience to lead during this important time for the gaming industry in Louisiana. He looks forward to making an appointment sooner rather than later.”

“I think the governor’s decision was a good decision because we want to get it right,” said Sen. Regina Barrow (D-Baton Rouge).

Barrow said there are a lot of moving parts at risk if this isn’t done correctly.

“You’re talking about millions that would be coming in throughout the state. So, it’s real important we have the right leadership that the rules are promulgated according to what the law is and that our citizens at the end of the day are protected,” added Barrow.

RELATED: Sports betting in Louisiana could begin by this fall

Senator Rick Ward (R-Port Allen), who was one of the major proponents to get sports betting going, said he’s confident people will still get a chance to get their bets in before football season is over. Barrow shared that same confidence.

“I assume, I don’t know this for sure, but I assume it’ll definitely be kicked off before football season is over. So, all is not lost, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure we get it right and that’s what’s most important,” explained Barrow.

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