Here's the latest timeline on sports betting in Louisiana
Hurricane Ida has pushed the first the arrival of sports betting in Louisiana to at least Oct. 1, Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said.
"Every State Police trooper (in the agency's Gaming Enforcement Division) was reassigned to disaster recovery for about a week," Johns said in an interview with USA Today Network. "We lost about seven to 10 days, but everything is back on track now.
"We had been projecting late September, but our goal now is to have them up and running by Oct. 1."
The first sports betting options will be at on-site sports books, or betting parlors, in some of the state's 20 riverboat and land-based casinos and racetracks.
Effect on casinos, bars and restaurants
Johns said eight casinos have applied for licenses so far. State Police contends those applications aren't public, Johns said, but Caesar's is already advertising its intention to open a sports book at the company's New Orleans' land-based casino.
Though the first sports books could be open in a matter of weeks, it will be months before mobile sports gaming applications come online.
"Mobile takes longer because the casinos use outside vendors to do that work, and those vendors haven't been licensed yet, so they have to go through the suitability process and background checks with the State Police," Johnson said. "We're hoping to have some of those approved in a 60-day window."
And it could be January before bars and restaurants can secure sports betting kiosks for their customers. That segment of sports betting is under the control of the Louisiana Lottery rather than the Gaming Control Board.
Louisiana Lottery President Rose Hudson said her agency is working on a two-track time line to expedite the retail segment — seeking vendors and promulgating rules.
"We should be complete in November," Hudson said with a targeted rollout in early 2022.
"We believe this segment of the industry will be well recieved by our state's (bars and restaurants)," said Hudson, who is also the lottery's chief executive. "It offers the businesses another way to attract customers."
How voters decided, where its prohibited in Lou
Voters in 55 of Louisiana's 64 parishes approved legalizing sports betting in their communities last fall, but lawmakers had to set up the framework to regulate and tax sports wagers during the 2021 spring Legislative Session.
Sports betting will still be prohibited in Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll and Winn, the parishes where voters rejected the gaming expansion.
Technology called geofencing will prevent residents in those parishes from accessing mobile sports betting applications.
The Gaming Control Board passed emergency rules to expedite the process last month.
Those emergency rules are in place for 180 days, but representatives from the Louisiana attorney general's office said they planned to promulgate permanent rules before the 180 days expire.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.