- Louisiana is aiming for an Oct.1 sports betting launch.
- Mobile sportsbook platforms could end up taking a further 60 days to go live.
- Louisiana’s sports betting implementation was delayed by Hurricane Ida.
BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana’s sports betting launch process has been dogged by delays. First, they were unable to launch before the NFL season started and then Hurricane Ida caused further problems for the state.
As of right now, Louisiana is targeting early October for a launch of their sports betting industry, although mobile sports betting could be delayed further.
Ronnie Johns, Chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB), said that Ida has cost them a significant amount of time in delays, especially during the NFL season.
“We lost about seven to 10 days,” said Johns. “But everything is back on track now.”
On track, in this case, means that a launch could be only days away. Johns and his team are aiming for a launch as soon as possible, which means early October.
“We had been projecting late September,” said Johns. “But our goal now is to have them up and running by Oct. 1.”
Louisiana's Initial Sports Betting Launch
Louisiana’s initial sports betting launch looks to be a fairly quiet one. There were 20 casinos allowed to apply for licenses - Harrah’s New Orleans, 15 riverboat casinos, and four racinos.
Of those 20 casinos, eight have applied for sports betting licenses, and are currently in the process of receiving these licenses from the state.
A launch on Oct. 1 will allow the state to capture the remainder of the NFL and College Football season wagers, a very important revenue driver in the sports betting world.
Missing the first three weeks of the NFL season and the first four weeks of the College Football season will likely cost Louisiana significantly in terms of missed profits.
Further delays will, of course, be even more expensive in terms of unrealized potential revenue gains.
Louisiana Mobile Sports Betting Delays
This is compounded by the fact that mobile sports betting might take a significantly longer amount of time to launch than retail sports betting.
“Mobile takes longer because the casinos use outside vendors to do that work,” said Johns. “We’re hoping to have some of those approved in a 60-day window.”
A 60-day window from Oct. 1 would mean that mobile sportsbooks would have to wait until early December or if all goes well, late November to be live.
This could also end up costing the state in terms of unrealized profits. Mobile sports gaming has been a runaway success in neighboring Tennessee and losing out on that level of potential wagers could be tough for Louisiana.
Online gambling aficionados might want to update their projections for Louisiana’s gambling revenue and factor in these delays.
They’ve already missed part of the football season, and even if they do launch on Oct. 1, they’ll still not be operating at full capacity - including mobile sportsbook platforms - until the 2021-2022 season is nearly over.