As the start of the NFL regular season approaches, all eyes in the gambling community are focusing on states that have legalized online sports betting. Some are now scrambling to launch online sports betting services. That includes the state of Louisiana. At this point in time, it looks like state regulators, operators, and sports bettors are on target to meet that coveted September 9, 2021, NFL regular season deadline.

Sports bettors have been patiently waiting for their day in the sports betting sun. Now the chance to legally wager on the New Orleans Saints from their mobile devices appears imminent. The Saints will be playing their first game of the season versus the Green Bay Packers in the Caesars Superdome on September 12, 2021.

Sports Betting Law in Louisiana

The details of the Louisiana Bill are a little more intricate than in other states.

When Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 247, it set forth the regulations for the sports betting community within the state. Here are some of the details related to this bill.

In referendum voting in November of 2020, 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted to allow in-person, online, and mobile sports betting. Therefore, sports betting will not be legal in the other 9 parishes. The Louisiana Gambling Commission has the power to provide up to 20 gambling licenses. They will be distributed among approved riverboat casinos, racetracks, and land-based casinos. In addition, each licensed sports betting operator can run two mobile sports betting skins or sites.

For the right to get a sports betting license, applicants must pay a nonrefundable application fee of $250k. Then there is a license fee of $500k, good for the first five years of operation. After that, licensees with be able to renew their licenses if in good standing with the Gambling Commission. Each licensee needs to pay a 10% tax rate on retail sports betting revenue and 15% on sports betting revenue received from online sports betting operations. Should any available licenses go unclaimed the first year, they will be made available to video poker sites and fantasy sports operators, using the same fee and tax rates.

In the case of the Louisiana Lottery’s sports betting license, they will be given a lot more autonomy related to the types of wagers they will allow, internal betting controls and limits, and approval of betting establishments to provide access.

NFL Season Nearing

With just over 30 days remaining to the start of the NFL season, sports betting licenses have not been issued. However, the Gambling Commission is working quickly to get the approvals out to the operators.

This should be of no concern to bettors in Louisiana. It could take some time to get retail sports betting locations up and running. However, online and mobile gambling offers no such challenges. The roster of operators consists of the top online sports betting names in America. Online/mobile sports betting could be up and running in days not weeks.

As for the operators that are likely to score a license, it’s a who’s who of the sports betting industry. Caesars (formerly William Hill), Twinspires, BetMGM, BetRivers, Unibet, PointsBet, bet365, WynnBet, and maybe Barstool are in the mix.

All of these bookmakers have a plugin sports betting platform that’s ready to go. As long as they get their license by the end of August, the September 9th deadline is very manageable. After that, the ball is in the hands of sports bettors who have waited a lifetime for this opportunity.