Louisiana could see legalized sports betting in time for football season
BATON ROUGE - Thursday, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved emergency rules, which will go into effect Monday and allow casinos to develop their permanent plans for sports books.
"People of Louisiana are very excited, and they spoke very loudly. Sixty-five percent of the people who voted in the state said that they wanted that. So, that's almost a 2-1 referendum. So we're excited we're moving forward," said Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
All casino properties will have some semblance of a sports bet parlor, including the new Hollywood casino which broke ground last week.
Soon, 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana will be able to place their bets. But the million-dollar question is when.
"It's hard to say, but I think that realistically sometime during football season we're going to see some sports betting actually go live in Louisiana," Johns said.
A specific date is still in the works, but Chairman Johns says those dollars will be beneficial to the state.
"It's going to bring in dollars for our state budget. It's going to bring in dollars for local governments where the operations will be located. Also, remember that the legislature said that a certain percentage of the state dollars has to go to early childhood education. So, that's going to be a big win for those advocates of early childhood education, which I'm very excited about," Johns said.
Properties around the state will have six months to develop their permanent plans.
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