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Mobile sports betting launches in Louisiana

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Aubry Procell
/
WRKF
Belle of Baton Rouge Casino Hotel, which is operated by Caesars Sportsbook, is taking bets on-site. Beginning Friday, bettors will be able to wager online in 55 parishes. Photo taken Nov. 14, 2021.

Louisiana residents are now able to bet on the outcomes of sports matches using websites and mobile apps in the parishes that voted to legalize sports betting, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns said in the press release Wednesday that only sportsbooks with eligible licenses will be able to begin taking mobile bets. Sportsbooks that haven’t yet received licenses will have to wait a bit longer.

Voters in 55 parishes legalized sports wagering in 2020, and casinos were slated to begin taking bets last September. But Hurricane Ida delayed the launch for nearly two months as law enforcement officers assigned to approve applications for betting licenses were needed elsewhere.

Licenses are available for up to 40 mobile sports betting operations. Sportsbooks BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel and DraftKings have planned to go online at 8:00 A.M. Friday, according to NOLA.com. Johns didn’t confirm the launch of any sportsbook’s mobile services, but has indicated that those that turned in their applications earliest would be first in line to receive licenses.

Johns previously stated that he hoped to bring mobile betting to the state in time for the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, 2022.

According to the most recent LGCB data, dated December 2021, retail sportsbook operations took over $67.1 million in wagers in the last two months of 2021, which brought over $1 million in tax revenue to the state and parish governments.

Neither mobile or retail sports betting will be allowed in the nine parishes that didn’t vote yes on the measure in the November 2020 election. Those parishes are Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, Lasalle, Sabine, Vermilion, West Carroll and Winn.

Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.