Louisiana Gaming Control Board Approves Rules, Bringing Legal Sports Betting One Step Close To Launch

The launch of legal sports betting in Louisiana got a shot in the arm Thursday morning when the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved emergency rules for the industry, according to multiple reports on Twitter.

While the rules are effective as of Monday, August 23, LGCB chair Ronnie Johns anticipates sports betting going live at some point during football season, consistent with the timeline he laid out late last month. Johns resigned from the state Senate to accept Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ nomination to lead the regulatory body.

The installment of the rules means casinos and horse racing tracks can begin applying with the State Police for sports betting licenses.

Louisiana’s sports betting laws call for up to 20 licensees, each of which will have the opportunity to offer two mobile betting platforms, referred to as “skins” in industry parlance. The Louisiana Lottery Corporation can also apply for a skin, meaning there could be as many as 41 mobile apps on which Louisianans to bet.

The emergency rules expire in 180 days, meaning the state’s gaming officials have that amount of time to take public comment and promulgate permanent rules.

Online To Follow Retail

In anticipation of the rules being passed, Johns told Greater Baton Rouge Business Report that sports betting at retail locations will precede online wagering. While casino gambling is nothing new to Louisiana, state regulators will take more time deciphering all that goes into the digital piece of the business.

In states that allow it, mobile typically accounts for more than 80% of the sports betting handle.

Some casinos and tracks in Louisiana will build temporary sports betting areas that can open once they’ve been issued a license. More lavish sportsbooks will eventually be built on some of these properties, and of course, the companies will begin partnering with sportsbook operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM to offer mobile betting apps.

“The whole purpose is to get the industry up and running, to get sports betting moving and get revenue into state and local governments,” Johns said, per the Baton Rouge news outlet

“It’s a very complicated matter,” he added. “We want to do it as quickly as possible, but do it right the first time.”

About the Author

Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto is the editor of Maryland Sharp and Louisiana Sharp and a nationally recognized journalist specializing in sports betting and sports business. He has been managing editor at SportsBusiness Daily, USA Sports Gaming, Sporting News, and The Linemakers. Marcus earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.