Ronnie Johns, a Republican from Sulphur, resigned Friday from the Louisiana state Senate to accept Gov. John Bel Edwards’ appointment to the position, the Associated Press reported.
The absence of LGCB head was believed to be a primary impediment to sports betting going live. While the bills legalizing wagering on sports had been passed by the legislature and signed into law by Edwards in June, rules must be implemented by the LGCB before launch.
Johns’ appointment means a Fall go-live date for sports betting becomes a realistic timeframe.
The chairmanship of the LGCB, a regulatory body that oversees all forms of legal gambling in Louisiana, was vacated by Mike Noel, as he decided to step down rather than face questions at a Senate confirmation hearing about his State Police work in connection to the fatal arrest of Ronald Greene, a Black man.
The Senate still needs to confirm Johns as the new chair, an action expected to take place at its next regular session, per the AP report.
Louisiana Sports Betting
With an LGCB head in place, sports betting rules can be written, and Louisiana casinos and racetracks can begin applying for licenses and announcing partnerships with sportsbook operators.
Laws passed in Louisiana call for up to 20 licensees and 41 mobile betting platforms, or “skins”. Each licensee is allowed two skins, and the Louisiana Lottery Corporation gets one.
Among the operators sports bettors can expect to see in Louisiana, DraftKings has already been approved to offer daily fantasy sports in the state, and Caesars has a 20-year deal as the naming rights partner of the Superdome.
That adds up to a healthy betting market, and with a new leader of the Gaming Control Board in place, Louisiana sports fans may not have much longer to wait before making some wagers.