Sports Gambling in Louisiana By This Fall? Don’t Bet On It
So, at long last, sports betting is legal in Louisiana. And gamblers, big and small, all over the state are rejoicing in the thought of placing bets on their favorite teams as soon as this fall.
But not so fast, okay? Remember, we do live in Louisiana, where government works, not only in mysterious, but most often, very slow ways.
Let's begin here, with a recent story in The Advocate:
"The Gaming Control Board can now start writing rules and considering applications. The 20 existing casinos - those on riverboats, at racetracks and the one on land in New Orleans – can pay the $250,000 to apply for the sports betting licenses. (If approved) each license will allow the casinos to hire two providers to handle betting online and via smart phones."
Consider the following: LSU opens their 2021 college football season on September 4 against UCLA. That's only 65 days from July 1, the date the law goes into effect. The Saints, meanwhile, kick off their NFL campaign against Green Bay September 12, taking on the Packers. 73 days.
Does anyone in their right mind think that the state of Louisiana, with it myriad bureaucracies, departments, power plays and behind-the-scenes intrigue, can approve licensees, a list of rules, tax structures and hire outside vendors...in barely two months?
Oh, but that's not all. Again, from The Advocate:
"The legislative package also authorized the Louisiana Lottery Corp. to contract a provider to handle sports betting kiosks that would be placed in the bars and restaurants that serve alcohol."
Whoa! So, the folks who run the state lottery are going to be involved, too? And they're going to write their own rules, take their own applications, and do another round of background checks?
And, as the real purpose of government is to grow government, how many pages of rules and regulations from how many other state agencies will oversee the building of these sports gaming kiosks?
55 of Louisiana's 64 parishes voted to embrace sports gambling. Industry analysts predict that the state could book almost $6 billion in bets annually. But as one local gaming executive (demanding anonymity) recently said, "Sports betting in Louisiana by fall? Fall of 2022...maybe. But not this year."