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Sports betting in Louisiana: Here's when you might be able to make wagers in person, online

Eric Pancer
Harrah’s New Orleans, pictured here, is operated by Caesars Entertainment. With sports betting on the horizon in Louisiana, Caesars hopes to operate their sportsbook in the casino and online.

Louisiana was posed to allow legal sports wagering in September, just in time for football, before Hurricane Ida made landfall.

But more than a month after the storm — and a handful of NFL football games later — aspiring betting parlors haven’t taken a single wager.

So, what’s with the hold-up? Here’s what we know:

When is sports betting officially allowed?

No official date has been announced yet, but Louisiana Casino Association Executive Director Wade Duty expects temporary sports wagering licenses to come in mid-October, according to KTAL.

Duty said officers of the Louisiana State Police’s Gaming Enforcement Division were assigned other duties to assist with recovery from Hurricane Ida and are just now getting back to their regular work, such as conducting background checks on institutions that applied for sports wagering licenses.

Where will I be able to place bets in person?

Twenty racetracks and casinos in the 55 parishes that voted “yes” to sports betting are expected to receive licenses before any online sports betting will be available, according to KTAL.

The Louisiana Lottery will also receive a license to operate sports wagering kiosks at restaurants and bars.

According to sports writer Brian Spaen, on-premise betting is expected at these locations: Belle of Baton Rouge, Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, Amelia Belle, Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, Sam's Town Shreveport, Treasure Chest, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Harrah’s New Orleans, Horseshoe Casino Bossier City, Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles, Coushatta Casino Resort, Golden Nugget Lake Charles, Fair Grounds Race Course, Boomtown Bossier City, Boomtown New Orleans, L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Lake Charles, Margaritaville Resort Casino and Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport.

What about mobile betting?

In addition to some casinos and racetracks, the Louisiana Lottery is expected to launch online and mobile sports wagering — but those sites and apps will only work if users are in one of the 55 parishes that legalized online and mobile betting, according to the Louisiana Illuminator.

These are the 55 parishes that voted yes: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Concordia, Claiborne, DeSoto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River, Richland, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

These are the nine parishes that voted no: Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, Lasalle, Sabine, Vermilion, West Carroll and Winn.

Caesars Entertainment, which recently purchased 20 years of the Superdome naming rights for $138 million a month after sports betting was signed into law in June, is poised to be a major provider of online sports wagering.

Will I have to pay taxes on sports bets?

Yes, there will be a 10% state tax applied to all on-premise bets and a 15% state tax on all online bets, according to the law signed by Governor Edwards this June. According to a separate law, the tax revenue raised from sports betting will go to the state Early Childhood Education Fund, gambling addiction recovery programs, local governments in parishes where betting will be allowed, services for residents with disabilities and more. Winnings that aren’t claimed within six months will be used to reimburse hospitals for forensic medical exams and DNA analysis in cases of rape, per SB247.

Which sports events are eligible for betting?

Professional, collegiate and Olympic sports events are all eligible. The bill makes it clear that high school sports and competitive video game matches, however, are off-limits for betting.

Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.

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