Online Sports Wagering in Louisiana – ‘Coming Soon’ Much Longer?
Louisiana sports fans are chomping at the bit to make legal wagers on sporting events using their mobile or online devices but so far all that's been delivered is a promise of "coming soon". While you might be frustrated with the process and how much time it is taking, I'd like to personally thank Gaming Control Commissioner Ronnie Johns for the delay.
Because I couldn't wager on sports over the past month or so I now have plenty of money left in my wallet for King Cake. You see in Louisiana, you have to have your priorities. And for a lot of the state's betting public, it certainly hasn't seemed as if getting online sports wagering up and running has not been a priority at all.
While it might seem that the Gaming Division of Louisiana State Police have been dragging their heels on getting sports wagering licenses approved, the fact is that department has been burning the midnight oil to get the job done as soon as possible.
As is the case in most things related to government, setting up sports wagering in the state is not as simple to do as it might seem. There is an awful lot of technology that has to be built into the state's system. One particular speed bump for the process appears to be the method of geofencing technology that will be needed to keep sports wagering out of parishes where voters did not approve it.
Johns, in comments reported by the Louisiana Radio Network, says his office has also been battling a lot of misinformation about sports wagering in the state. For example, Johns told LRN:
I’ve seen some social media clips that say online is going live next week that’s not true that’s not the case.
This is truly a bummer for those bettors who wanted to put some money down on the College Football Playoffs finale between Alabama and Georgia. Now, there are several land-based places in Louisiana where you can make a wager on a sporting event. So, it's not like Gaming Control hasn't issued any licenses. They just haven't issued the paperwork for mobile or online sports gaming in Louisiana.
So, if not now. When?
Again we will yield to the comments of Commissioner Ronnie Johns,
We’re close, I wish I can give you a definitive date right now, but I can assure the day the recommendation comes to my desk from State Police, I will be signing it and we will be going live and I hope that it’s very, very soon
Those are Johns' words from a story that was first reported by the Louisiana Radio Network.
I know many of you who have been asking us about the "official start" of online sports wagering in Louisiana have had questions about squandered revenue opportunities. Yeah, it's true if online sports wagering had been live during the college football bowl season the state would have likely seen some significant revenue.
And if online sports wagering isn't buttoned up and online by the time the Super Bowl comes around in February it will mean more "losses" for the state as well. But since you can't lose what you've never had, there's no reason for Gaming Control to rush the process and get it wrong.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to make a bet on this weekend's NFL action or Monday's College Football Championship game there are sites around the state where you can do that. Or, you could just drive to Mississippi where they seemed to be able to figure out how to get things done, at least in the gaming industry, a lot faster than we have been able to in Louisiana.
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