The gambling regulatory bodies in the state of Louisiana are approaching the official approval of sports betting but it seems that the State Police is still not ready to make a recommendation which of the 13 applicants should be the first to provide in-person sports betting services.
According to Major Chuck McNeal, whose State Police Gaming Enforcement Division is considering and approving the applications, November seems like a realistic deadline for the new form of gambling to become available in Louisiana. He, however, explained that the problem is associated with the internal control of the service.
The procedures associated with handling the sports bets and accounting the proceeds gathered as a result of the new form of gambling have been referred to as the “internal control” of the practice Major McNeal talks about. They also include the proceedings in cases when sports events are canceled, as well as procedures for making winning ticket payments. As he noted, the competent regulatory bodies need to work out all of these details before sports betting operations are up and running in the state.
Dawn Himel, who is the deputy director at the Gaming Division at the Department of Justice in Lousiana, also noted that all of the aforementioned issues have to be worked out before any sports betting operator is allowed to start offering the new form of gambling across the state.
First Phase of Sports Betting Legalization in Louisiana Involves In-Person Betting in Casinos
Louisiana lawmakers passed the proposed sports betting legalization measure that was signed by the Governor in June. Since then, local regulators have been engaged in the rule-making process to guarantee the new service’s safety and transparency. Under the newly-enacted piece of legislation, the 20 casinos in the state – no matter if they are regular casinos in land-based venues, racetrack casinos, or riverboat casinos – are allowed to file applications for a sports betting operating license.
Louisiana sports betting law required each of the 64 parishes across the state to decide whether they would allow sports betting services to be offered in their jurisdictions, with 55 of them legalizing the new form of gambling in 2020. Now, the regulators need to establish so-called geofencing technology that would use customers’ location in order to make sure that sports bets are placed only in the 55 parishes that had approved the addition of the service.
The first phase of the new sportsbook service in Louisiana will be to allow sports betting to kick off as an in-person betting service in casino establishments. Later, wagers on sports events will be allowed over the Internet, through mobile devices, as well as in various establishments serving alcoholic beverages.
However, as mentioned above, before even the land-based casinos to be allowed to start offering sports betting services, the State Police needs to recommend accepting a temporary license. Also, the paperwork allowing the casinos’ sportsbooks to come to live needs to be signed by the Chair of the state’s Gambling Control Board, Ronnie Johns.
Some Sports Betting Service Parameters Already Approved by Louisiana Gambling Regulator
For the time being, Mr. Johns was unable to provide a definitive date when the competent authorities would start issuing operating licenses but said it would be soon. He also denied rumors that the state will start offering sports betting as early as this weekend, saying that would not happen and the authorities would make sure the new form of gambling is processed the right way.
The Gaming Control Board of Louisiana has approved some of the parameters applicable for sports betting services in Louisiana, such as the sports local customers will be allowed to bet on. For now, Louisiana punters will be able to bet on soccer, snooker, NASCAR races, badminton, etc. They will be unable to place bets on school sports and sports events where most of the participants are under the age of 18.
The US gambling company FanDuel was also allowed to handle fantasy sports contests in Louisiana. Its major competitor, DraftKings, has already received approval for the offering of daily fantasy sports in the state. Under the provisions of the state’s sports betting law, operators that offer daily fantasy sports games are expected to apply to contract their technology when the casinos with operating licenses are ready to start offering the new form of gambling and allow their customers to place wagers and through their smartphones.