More than a dozen casinos across Louisiana, a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States, has applied for sports-betting licenses to allow betting enthusiasts to place wagers on live athletic events in person at casino sportsbooks.
According to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB), a total of 13 commercial casinos in the state have filed applications for sports-betting licenses. While the sports-betting licenses may take some more time to be officially awarded, the state’s gaming regulator can award temporary certificates allowing casino sportsbooks to start operating inside the gaming properties right away. However, mobile wagering, which allows users to place bets via smartphones and other mobile devices, may take a longer time to be up and running.
Ronnie Johns, chairman of the LGCB, told reporters that he is anticipating licensing recommendations from state police very soon. LGCB’s next board meeting is slated for October 21, 2021.
Currently, police officials are conducing “suitability studies” on casino gambling halls that have filed applications for sports-betting licenses. The procedure was delayed by the Hurricane Ida that wrecked havoc across the region in late August.
Earlier this year, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill into law, allowing sports betting in the 55 of the state’s 64 parishes where local voters had given their consent in a November 2020 statewide vote. The new gaming law has also paved way for bettors to place bets through their mobile devices.
Louisiana’s gaming industry has been growing quite fast, especially for the past few years. At least twenty gaming licenses have been issued to operators to casino offer Las Vegas-style games. Currently, there are 13 riverboat casinos, 1 land-based casino in New Orleans, and 4 racinos (horse tracks equipped with gaming slots) in the state.
Two other gaming properties are also licensed, but they remained closed this year. The two closed properties are two riverboat casinos— one in Lake Charles and the other in Bossier City. The riverboat casino in Lake Charles has been closed since being damaged by a powerful hurricane in 2020. It is not expected to reopen this year. The Bossier City riverboat casino has been shuttered as its owners are preparing to transfer it to a land-based structure near Slidell. A regional public vote, scheduled for December this year, will determine its fate.