Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told Saturday Down South the state’s goal is to have in-person sports betting available for customers by mid- to late-September at several Louisiana facilities.

The Gaming Control Board unanimously approved emergency sports betting rules last week, paving the way for Louisiana’s 15 riverboat licensed casinos, one land-based casino and four parimutuel racetracks to apply for temporary sports betting licenses. As of Monday, Aug. 23, John said eight facilities have already applied for a temporary license.

“Our intent is to allow those who are able to acquire a temporary sports betting license to do so. We feel all 20 will be granted a license…Our goal, and it’s a very optimistic goal, is for sometime between mid-September to late-September to possibly have some of these applications approved and be up and running,” Johns said.

In-person Louisiana sports betting by mid-September?

Johns confirmed this meant in-person sports betting may begin in mid- to late-September at temporary sportsbooks in approved facilities, as long as they pass inspection from the Louisiana State Police and fall in line with all Louisiana state statutes.

The temporary sports betting rules are in effect for 180 days. When the permanent sports betting rules are approved by the gaming control board they will replace the emergency rules. An attorney general representative believed the process of approving the permanent rules and regulations would begin in September.

The temporary licenses will be awarded on a “first come, first served” basis. The eight facilities that applied for a temporary license will likely be the first eight approved, Johns said.

“It will be up to the properties to get their programs up and running, and how quickly they do so,” Johns said.

No timeline for Louisiana online sports betting

There is no current timeline for online sports betting. It will be the second phase of the sports betting launch in the state, Johns said. The online vendors need to be licensed in Louisiana and go through background checks before any online betting or partnerships can be made.

The third component of the approved sports betting legislation will be to allow for smaller venues, such as restaurants, bars and sports bars, to actually apply for a license through the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, he said.

“We’re excited in Louisiana to do this. We’re behind the curveball, but we’re going to try to catch up as quickly as we can. I think it’s going to be a huge deal in Louisiana, particularly with our out-of-state customer base that we have here from the Texas side to the west of us. I live in the Lake Charles area and I think the market here will be huge for sports betting. I think the Shreveport Bossier market will be huge for sports betting,” Johns said.