Online sports betting begins Friday in La.
Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns announced Wednesday that six mobile sports betting apps will go live at 8 a.m. Friday.
Johns could not divulge the names of the six platforms, but he said “they are a go.” Louisiana began issuing six-month temporary sports betting licenses on casino properties back in November, with permanent licenses expected later this year.
Johns said there has been a growing interest in mobile sports betting since voters in 55 parishes approved sports betting in November 2020.
“We’re entering into the modern age of gaming,” he said. “This is something the people of Louisiana voted on. It’s not something the Legislature said, ‘Go do this.’ ”
Johns said he is eager for mobile sports betting to kick off because Louisiana has traditionally been behind Mississippi on gambling reform. While Mississippi had sports betting two years earlier, it doesn’t have mobile sports betting, he said.
“We will be ahead of the ball game,” Johns said. “It’s a big deal.”
Johns credited the State Police Gaming Enforcement Division and the Attorney General’s Office Gaming Division for their help in setting up sports betting.
“We are doing this the right way,” he said. “Louisiana regulates its gaming industry stricter and harder then most states do and we should.”
Setting up mobile gaming was a challenging process, Johns said.
“We had to make sure everyone is compliant and go through background checks,” he said. “We had to make sure the technology is working properly. We want customers to have an easy and safe experience when they go online. We feel confident we have done that.”
The nine parishes that voted against sports betting will have a virtual geographic boundary to prevent mobile sports betting, Johns said.
Remaining sports betting operators are working to meet statutory and regulatory requirements before being approved, the state Gaming Control Board said in a statement.