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Casinos prepare for sports betting green light

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:52 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - According to Christopher Hebert, the Director of the Gaming Division at the Attorney General’s Office, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board still needs to consider and approve emergency rules before anything can take place. But that’s not stopping some of the casinos from getting prepared for when they’re given the green light for sports betting.

As about twenty casinos in Louisiana patiently wait for the sports wagering application process to begin, employees at the L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge tell us they are already preparing for when sports betting can officially begin.

“We are building out a temporary location, getting all of our equipment in, working with our architecture firm and design and construction to build out our permanent sports betting location,” said Vice President of L’Auberge Casino Kim Ginn.

There’s a lot that needs to be done ahead of time to be able to start as soon as possible.

“Also working on staffing and uniforms, so we’re just making sure that we’re ready once the rules are ready from our regulators,” Ginn continued.

The Gaming Division with the Attorney General’s Office along with the Gaming Control Board and the State Police’s Gaming Enforcement Section are still working to draft and revise those rules.

“In addition to that, once those rules are approved by the board applicants and our potential operators can actually get the ball rolling a little bit earlier because there is a provision that allows for what’s called a temporary certificate of authority,” said Hebert.

That means casino operators in Louisiana who already do sports betting in places where it’s legal, like Mississippi or Las Vegas, could apply for that certificate and be able to start early while Louisiana State Police continues to finalize their investigation. That’s something that L’Auberge plans to take advantage of.

“As soon as the regulators get those to us, we’ll fill out the application and get it back,” Ginn explained.

Casinos will be required to have an area dedicated to sports betting where you will be able to place bets in person while watching all the action. But you’ll also be able to place bets from your phone through an app if you are physically within one of the 55 parishes that voted in favor of sports betting. Christopher Hebert also hinted we could potentially see people start to place sports bets sometime within the fall.

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