Thirteen commercial casinos in Louisiana have applied for sports wagering licenses weeks before residents can start wagering in person at casino sportsbooks. Louisiana gaming control board chairman disclosed this information to the advocate newspaper. Ronnie Johns also added that the Gaming Control Board could approve casinos to run sportsbooks on-site 0temporarily.
But, online betting on smartphones or computers could take much longer. Although casinos will likely get temporary sportsbook operating licenses, Johns doubts he will sign any in the next two weeks. Instead, he hopes to get recommendations from the Louisiana State Police.
The state police are identifying the suitability of each casino that has applied for a sportsbook license to offer sports betting. These suitability studies will tell the police which casinos are eligible for the temporary license. With most police deployed to help with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ida, the suitability studies were delayed.
Previously, 20 casinos in the state would apply for various licenses. This time, only 13 have applied for the sportsbook operating license. Two casinos might not apply for the sportsbook operating licenses yet, including the riverboat casino damaged last year in Lake Charles and another in Bossier City, which plans to transfer to Slidell after a public vote in December.
Online Betting Will Come Later
In November 2020, 55 parishes voted to approve sports betting in their regions. This summer, Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill accepting sports wagering in those parishes. Sports betting will commence once the control board completes the vetting process on casinos.
The signed law allows residents to bet online. Each of the 20 licensed casinos in the state will contract two companies providing sportsbook websites and mobile apps to allow online sports betting in Louisiana.
While it will take longer to approve mobile wagering, an on-site sportsbook may begin operating. The casinos were already investigated before the first licensing. Now, police are making sure that these casinos are ready to run a sportsbook per the law.
Meanwhile, companies partnering with casinos will undergo a tough investigation before being approved. But, Johns hopes some casinos will be authorized to operate mobile wagering in a few months.
Another thing addressed under the signed law is for bettors to bet in restaurants and bars serving alcohol. By January, betting in kiosks might commence following the Louisiana lottery Corporation approval.
Paragon Casino Resorts Is the First to Offer Legal Sports Betting
Paragon Casino Resorts prides itself as the first casino to offer legal sports wagering in Louisiana. The casino is located on tribal land 90 miles northwest of Baton Rouge.
The first legal sports bet was placed last week by former National Football League wide receiver Joe Horn. Joe placed a parlay bet, long-odds on seven teams. This means all the seven games had to come out as he bet to win his betting ticket.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe owns Paragon Casino Resorts in Louisiana. It is one of five casinos Native American Tribes run in the state.
The casino operates under a federal compact which means it is not regulated by Louisiana and does not pay taxes. This casino offers legalized casino games in the state.
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