Louisiana online sports betting plans delayed
Louisiana sports betting has been legal for more than a week after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the program into law. Now, it just needs someone to chair it.
The state’s sports betting program launch has been delayed due to lack of a gambling regulatory chief, as first reported by the Lafeyette Daily Advertiser. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board must implement the state’s sports betting rules before casinos and third-party sportsbook operators can begin to construct brick-and-mortar sportsbooks or eligible facilities can apply for retail sports betting kiosks.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board must implement the state’s sports betting rules before casinos and third-party sportsbook operators can begin to construct brick-and-mortar sportsbooks or eligible facilities can apply for retail sports betting kiosks.
Louisiana sports betting plans put on hold
However, the Gaming Control Board has been without a chairman since June 9. Former Chairman Mike Noel resigned from his position after less than a year when faced with the possibility of appearing before a Senate confirmation hearing where he may have been questioned about his role as State Police commander during the 2019 fatal arrest of Black motorist Ronald Greene, according to the Lafeyette Daily Advertiser.
The governor must appoint a new chairman to the Gaming Control Board before important work to kickoff the state’s sports betting plan can continue.
Edwards signed the remaining sports betting bills into law in late June, completing the necessary measures to legalize sports betting in the state. The bills will go into effect on July 1, 2021, with the hope that Louisiana sports betting will be launched in time for the NFL season.
It’s unknown if this delay will ultimately have an effect on the planned NFL season launch target.
Louisiana casinos wait for a replacement
Louisiana will allow 20 sports betting licenses, one each for the the state’s 15 riverboat casinos, four racinos (horse tracks) and one land-based casino. Each license will also include two mobile licenses, which could mean a potential of 41 “skins” for Louisiana online sports betting. The one additional skin would be allotted to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.
Each facility applying for a sports betting license will be required to construct a retail sportsbook to be eligible.
Facilities with Class-A onsite consumption liquor licenses can receive a mobile wagering device, called a kiosk, to allow patrons to participate in online sports betting while in their facility. This would be run under the purveyance of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and revenue would be taxed at 10%.
The collected tax revenue from sports betting will be dispersed as such:
- 60% to the general fund.
- 25% to early education.
- 12% to the parishes.
- 2% to programs for gambling addiction.
- 1% to a sports wagering purse fund for horse racing.
A sports betting ban on in-state collegiate programs was not included in the bill.
Sports betting will be legal in 55 of 64 Louisiana parishes that approved the measure in the November 2020 general election. In-person and online sports betting will not be permitted for residents living in the following parishes:
- West Carroll