The City of New Orleans including the Superdome, Mississippi River, and the Crescent City Connection are seen from Air Force One, with President Joe Biden aboard, as it flies over New Orleans, Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
- Legalized sports betting still planned for this fall in Louisiana
- Vice-Chairman authorized to make decisions in place of chairman to continue the legalization process
- What teams can bettors expect to wager on and at which sportsbooks?
Sports bettors in Louisiana should have no reason to be concerned with the start date for legalized sports betting in their state this fall. Despite a current vacancy in the chair position at Gaming Control Board, plans to have sports betting legalized in Louisiana still look to be on track.
Three bills were approved earlier this year in June by Governor John Bel Edwards. They became effective as of July 1, with the intent to iron out the finer details and rules for operators to launch this fall.
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Concerns about a delay began with the resignation of former Gaming Control Board Chair Mike Noel in early June. Without an active chair, some were concerned about that start date still being attainable. However, Christopher Hebert, the Division Director at the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, spoke this week to ease those concerns. He stated that the process could still move forward without a chair and that their vice-chairman would be able to approve decisions on the matter to keep things on track.
Sports Betting in Time for Football Season?
Having sports betting launched in Louisiana this fall would be a prime opportunity for operators to cash in big on the football seasons in both the NFL and college.
The NFL season kicks off on September 9 with Week 1 of the season. The New Orleans Saints get their season started just days later in Green Bay and are the most popular pro team in the state.
The NCAAF’s LSU Tigers meanwhile, have a rabid fanbase of their own. They’re one of the SEC’s top college football teams. The Tigers are among the top ten favorites to win the college football playoff this season.
Louisiana Sports Betting Revenue Projections
While the Saints and Tigers may be king in the Bayou State, there’s also the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. The Pels missed the playoffs this season, but should also generate interest at the betting window when the 2021/22 NBA gets underway.
Add in a host of other collegiate teams at schools such as Louisiana Tech, Tulane, Lafayette and Louisiana Monroe, and the betting opportunities and handle should be impressive. An added benefit in Louisiana is that current legislation does not look to limit Louisiana residents from betting on their own teams. This has been written into the rules for legalized betting in some other states.
Louisiana Gaming Control Board has approved the first fantasy sports betting operator license for DraftKings Inc. Betting on fantasy sports should be up and running soon. #lalege #lagov
— Melinda Deslatte (@MelindaDeslatte) July 15, 2021
Bettors will need to be located physically inside state lines to wager at a Louisiana sportsbook. However, you do not need to be a resident of Louisiana to make a major in the state. Until the time sports betting is launch in Louisiana, sports bettors are able to travel to neighboring states of Arkansas or Mississippi to make a bet.
Louisiana Sports Betting Licenses
Louisiana legislators have approved sports betting in 55 of the 64 parishes in the state. The Louisiana Lottery, as well as the 20 casinos and racinos in the state, are to be all granted licenses to accept legal bets.
When launched, sports bettors in Louisiana can expect to be able to place bets through both online and retail platforms. Currently, the expected sportsbooks to be making an entry into Louisiana are DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.
Ryan is SBD’s resident soccer pro, though his repertoire is by no means limited to a single sport. His articles have been published by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Kitchener Rangers, and outlets like SportsXpress and Shredthespread.com