The long wait for mobile sports betting will soon be over for Louisiana residents. Ronnie Johns, the Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB), announced that mobile sports betting will be launching tomorrow at 8 A.M. The Bayou State wanted to get online and mobile betting options up and running in time for the Super Bowl next month.
With the worst hopefully behind them, sportsbooks are preparing to launch tomorrow. WynnBet started collecting deposits and pre-registering bettors on Tuesday. The NFL conference championship games on Sunday should provide sportsbooks with a chance for a successful launch. It can also be viewed as a practice run for the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.
The timing of the launch could not be better for Louisiana sports fans. Not only will it allow betting on the Super Bowl, but fans in the Creole State needed some good news. Zion Williamson has not played in the NBA this season. The Saints appear primed for a rebuild in the wake of Sean Payton’s retirement. LSU’s 2020 National Championship campaign seems like a distant memory. The addition of mobile sports betting will hopefully reignite fanbases throughout Louisiana.
Launch Before the Super Bowl was Always the Goal
LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns has said before that the goal was always to have mobile sports betting up and running before Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl is one of the most bet on events of the year. Louisiana is also home to several major sporting events each year that bettors can now more readily take advantage of.
WynnBet could still launch before the Super Bowl. Other operators, including Golden Nugget and BetFred, are also expected to launch mobile options in the coming weeks. In total, Louisiana will allow up to 41 total online sports betting operations. Louisiana has also largely been pro-gambling and has low barriers for sportsbooks to meet to be licensed.
New York also launched mobile sports betting this month. Mobile and online betting took off in recent weeks with fans eager to bet on the NFL playoffs. Officials in Louisiana cannot hope for quite as successful of a launch. The NFL playoffs are nearly over and Louisiana only has roughly a quarter of New York’s population. Still, the addition of mobile and online sports betting options should help Louisiana sportsbooks find renewed success in 2022.
Sports Betting in Louisiana
Sports betting in Louisiana may have started later than other markets, but it is primed to take off. Voters legalized sports betting in 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana in November 2020. Since then, 14 retail sportsbooks have opened shop. Of those 14 sportsbooks, 13 are licensed by the state. The remaining sportsbook is operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana at the Paragon Casino.
A large number of operators in such a short amount of time is not the only unique aspect of Louisiana sports betting. The LGCB allows for bets on in-state college sports. Many other states, such as Illinois and New York, do not allow for wagers on in-state college athletics. That means sports fans will be able to bet on SEC games and the March Madness Tournament.
Residents in one of the nine parishes that do not allow sports betting can still join in on the action. They will still be allowed to create accounts, as well as deposit and withdraw funds. However, in order to place their bets they will have to travel across parish lines. Louisiana uses geolocation technology to ensure that bettors are complying with the legal requirements for betting.
Tomorrow will mark a historic day in the history of Louisiana sports betting. LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns announced that mobile and online sports betting will be live tomorrow at 8 A.M. CT. The launch comes just in time for the NFL Conference Championship games. Johns has previously stated that the LGCB wanted to launch electronic betting options in time for the Super Bowl.
There are still some hurdles for sports betting operators to overcome. Sports betting is still illegal in nine of the 64 parishes throughout the state. Sportsbooks also have to pay a 5% higher tax rate on electronic bets. They have also missed out on the majority of the NFL playoff games. The NFL playoffs played a large part in the successful launch of mobile betting in New York.
Despite the hurdles, Louisiana is set up well for a successful start in mobile betting. The launch of both sports betting in the fall and online betting tomorrow has been years in the making. Six sportsbooks have already announced that they will be launching electron betting options tomorrow, with more expected in the coming weeks. Operators should have plenty of time to work out any kinks before the return of SEC and NFL action in the fall.