Louisiana is still on track to launch legalized sports betting later this year
Those within the industry are optimistic betting will be live by the time football season begins
Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved of DraftKings’ application to become the first legal operator of paid daily fantasy sports contests
Earlier this month, lawmakers in Louisiana were concerned that legalized sports betting could be put on the backburner as a result of a crucial vacancy at the state’s Gaming Control Board. The previous chairman, Mike Noel, resigned amid a scandal in early June. Without a person in place to lead the board, the state had no way to lay the groundwork for the scheduled unveiling of its new legalized sports betting industry.
However, there is now optimism that sports betting will open in Louisiana by the time football season rolls around this fall. The three sports betting bills signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards went into effect on July 1, and the state is still planning to iron out the necessary details by autumn.
Gaming Control Board Moving Forward
Earlier this week, Chris Hebert of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office said that the framework process can still move forward even without a chairperson in place. The vice-chairman has been given the green light to approve any and all decisions in order to keep the state’s plans on time.
Clearly, getting sports betting online at the beginning of football season will be a major priority for a football-rabid state like Louisiana. The New Orleans Saints will begin their regular season on September 9 with a highly-anticipated clash against the Green Bay Packers. The LSU Tigers will open their campaign with a road matchup at UCLA on Saturday, September 4.
Louisiana Tech football and New Orleans Pelicans basketball will likely become popular betting options for Louisianans, as well. Some states have prohibited bettors from wagering on in-state college teams, but no such restrictions exist in the new Louisiana sports betting guidelines.
DraftKings’ DFS Platform Approved
On Thursday, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board officially approved DraftKings’ application to become the first daily fantasy sports provider in the state, as well. The move is a sign that things are moving in the right direction, even without a Gaming Control Board chairperson in place. DFS platforms had been previously banned from offering paid contests in the state, but residents voted to legalize both DFS and sports betting at the polls a couple of years ago.
DraftKings said that its DFS platform will “soon be live” in the state shortly after news of the approval came down. Louisiana will become the 44th state in which DraftKings operates its DFS platform, though no firm launch date has been set.
Matt Kalish, DraftKings president and co-founder, said, “As DraftKings continues our nationwide expansion, we welcome Louisiana to the DraftKings family, an area rich with culture, heritage, and die-hard fanbases in both professional and college sports.” DraftKings’ launch is estimated to generate about $15 million in net revenue for the current year with just over $1 million in taxes for the state.
Bettors will be allowed to place wagers in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes once the industry opens up. The Louisiana Lottery as well as the 20 different casinos and racinos scattered around the state will also be allowed to take bets. Louisianans will have both retail and online options, as well, with DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM among the major operators expected to launch in the state later this year.