BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Eight Louisiana casinos have started accepting bets on live-action sporting events, and seven more applications for sports wagering licenses from casinos are pending, according to the head of the state’s gambling regulatory board.
The Advocate reports that five casinos haven’t applied yet. But they have another six weeks to submit the paperwork.
“All the reports I have gotten from across the state is that everything has gone out without a hitch,” said Ronnie Johns, chair of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
After voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes agreed last year to allow sports betting in their parishes, the Louisiana Legislature rushed to pass the necessary laws, and the board that oversees gambling in Louisiana quickly drafted temporary rules to get the application process started.
The first lounges where bettors could place wagers inside the casinos were running by late October. Johns said the other leg of sports betting — through online sites and smartphone apps — is still in the works.
The necessary background and financial checks will take longer because those contractors don’t have preexisting relationships with state regulators as do the 20 casinos.
“That’s where the real true interest is. We want to do it quickly, but we want to do it the right way,″ Johns said.