Sports betting in Louisiana to begin as early as next month

Sports betting could begin in Louisiana as early as next month, just in time for the upcoming football season.
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Sports betting could begin in Louisiana as early as next month, just in time for the upcoming football season.

The Gaming Control Board approved emergency rules Thursday that will allow the state’s Big 20 casinos to file their applications starting Monday for sports betting licenses. L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge is among that group.

Ronnie Johns, the board’s new chairman, said this has been a long time coming. 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted to approve the legalization of sports wagering last fall.

“Maybe mid to late September we may see some properties here licensed in Louisiana to do that,” Johns said. “We’re going to go ahead and let them get started in a temporary fashion.”

If you’re waiting to place that first bet on online gambling sites like DraftKings or FanDuel, Johns said it could be an additional few months before that happens.

“That’s going to come a few more months down the road because those online vendors have to go through suitability and go through the licensing process themselves,” Johns said.

The same goes for bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Betting in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol will be handled on about 1,000 kiosks, which will be overseen by the Louisiana Lottery Corp. The lottery is making its own rules for sports betting, separate from the gaming commission.

“That’s huge. I got goosebumps thinking about it,” Dustin Loveless, general manager of Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux in Baton Rouge.

Loveless said he’s excited about how much this money will benefit the state. As a part of the deal to legalize sports betting, the revenue generated will go towards helping manage the state’s budget, assist local governments, and fund early childhood education.

“That money that was going elsewhere, whether it be online betting that the state never saw, now those dollars are being able to be reinvested here for great causes and build up the state a little bit,” said Loveless.

Those interested in placing bets will have to be 21 or older. No bets can be placed on high school or youth sports events. Athletes, coaches, and referees can’t bet on a sports event in which they are involved. People who live in parishes that did not approve sports betting can place wagers if they head to a parish where sports betting was legalized.

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