Louisiana must appoint a new gaming regulator before they can officially open their own regulated sports betting market. The post became vacant following the resignation of the former president Mike christmas June 9.
Noel chose to resign from his post, anticipating a Senate confirmation hearing where he could have been subjected to extensive questioning by lawmakers regarding his tenure in the state police in which a black man was fatally arrested. His death is still under investigation.
Before local bettors can legally place bets, the Gaming Control Commission must first promulgate the rules. The agency would not be able to do this in the absence of a leader, as confirmed Republican State Senate Speaker Page Cortez, who was among the lawmakers who drafted a series of bills to legalize sports betting in Louisiana.
The implementation of sports betting in Louisiana marks the state’s largest gaming expansion since casinos, video poker, and lottery were established there in the early 1990s.
As soon as the state gambling regulator promulgates the rules, casinos can begin building betting houses where they can operate Las Vegas-style sports books. Restaurants and bars will also be allowed to set up sports betting kiosks. Mobile betting will also be allowed. The gaming council will initially grant 20 sports betting licenses.
Legalized sports betting will not be implemented across Louisiana, however, as residents of 9 of the state’s 64 parishes rejected the expansion of gambling in a vote last fall, namely , Catahoula, Caldwell, LaSalle, Union, Jackson, West Carroll, Winn and Franklin. Residents of these parishes will be prevented from placing mobile sports bets through a technology called “geofencing”.
Governor to appoint new president
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to appoint a new president at the earliest based on a statement from spokesperson Christina Stephen.
Republican Senator from Lake Charles Ronnie Johns was supposed to take on the role, and he recently confirmed that he and the governor are in talks about it. He also expressed his willingness to serve as the head of gambling regulation if the governor offered him the job.
Cortez said that prior to Noel’s resignation, the former president indicated that sports betting could be up and running in Louisiana in early 2022, just in time for the Super Bowl. But that could change now, according to Cortez.