Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Commission, Ronnie Johns, has stated that online sports betting launch does not have a confirmed date yet, as the timeline is being modified daily.
“There is some misinformation that we’re going to launch sports betting next week in conjunction with the NFL playoffs. While we very much would like to do that, it’s definitely not accurate. We are working literally on a daily basis to finalize all of the compliance issues and the technical issues with sports betting”, he said, as reported by The Monroe News-Star.
Johns said his goal is to launch online sports betting ahead of the Super Bowl on February 13, but even that has not been confirmed yet. He said the State Police are determining the suitability of the launch, and Johns cannot sign off on the launch until the police send him their recommendation. However, he stated progress is coming along quicker than projected.
They are also looking into the geofencing technology that is part of the launch, as only 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved online sports betting. This calls for the implementation of this technology so that those within the parishes that voted “no” are unable to place online bets. Nevertheless, people could still travel to parishes where online sports betting is approved, and place bets there.
“The technology is there; it’s very accurate. We’ve seen it in other states, and we know that it works, but we just have to make absolutely sure that it’s working properly here in Louisiana before we roll it out”, Johns explained.
When it comes to in-person sports betting, there are 13 operational licenses across the state, and there is at least one sports betting location in each market, from New Orleans to Lake Charles to Bossier City. There are seven pending licenses John said he hopes to approve soon.
Even though gamblers cannot yet access online sports wagering, they can now sign up with online sports betting operations such as Caesars Sportsbook, and will become operational immediately after the official launch.
“We’re going to roll it out as quickly as we can, but we’re going to roll it out the right way. We want to make sure it’s ready to go”, Johns concluded.
Sports betting is projected to bring $30 million in revenue annually to the state of Louisiana. One quarter of state revenue will go toward early childhood education, with a cap at $20 million, and 10% of revenue will go to a local government fund by parish. Up to $500,000 of revenue will be allocated toward the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling.