New Orleans is requiring either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to participate in certain indoor activities, including attendance at Saints games. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Emergency rules for Louisiana sports betting will go into effect Aug. 23, after being adopted Thursday during a Gaming Control Board meeting.
As these rules are temporary, they will be in effect for 180 days. The guidelines were formed quickly to expedite sports betting, with input from 90 entities interested in the process, according to the Attorney General’s Gaming Division Deputy Director Dawn Himel. Rules include guidance for casino payment, licensing and ethical conduct.
“We wanted to ensure what was put out there and what was presented to the board was in a posture that was workable for the industry to make sure that sports wagering could get off the ground prior to rule promulgation,” Himel said.
Himel added that regular rules would have to be turned around quickly so that new betting rules could be formally adopted, with a period for public comment and oversight hearings.
Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said he was happy with the quick turnaround. With the rules expedited, Johns said he expects sports betting to begin during the upcoming football season.
“This is incredible. This is a lot of hard work that went into putting this together and very comprehensive. I can tell you, as we left the legislative session on June the 10th, I don’t think any of us had an inkling that we would be adopting these this quickly,” Johns said. “And I mean that in all sincerity.”
Sport betting legislation was passed during the 2021 regular legislative session, with sports betting legalized on mobile devices and at casino sportsbooks in parishes that voted for it. But the Gaming Commission had to approve the sports betting rules and individual sports betting licenses before it can start in Louisiana.
“This is brand new territory for us in Louisiana,” Johns said. “We are behind the curve with our neighbors to the east of us in Mississippi, but we’re going to try and play catch up very quickly.”
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