Louisiana Gaming Control Board announced the opening of the application process for sports betting licenses in the state, more than two years after voters approved fantasy sports contests.
The Control Board published its final regulation for the prize contest and the application process officially started on Friday, announced the State Police’s gaming commission.
The approval process will take 60 to 90 days for each company. The applications are only received by mail and as of Monday afternoon, the department has yet to receive any applications.
As part of the process, the businesses will have to create virtual barriers around the 17 parishes, which did not vote in favor of fantasy gambling.
Chuck McNeal of the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division commented: “They’re going to be, for lack of a better word, geofencing along parish lines, whether it be the parishes who opted out are blocked out, or the parishes that opted in are blocked in.”
Many states, like New Jersey, use this technological barrier to prohibit entrance into contests from across state lines, but the applicants will have to prove their software works along state and parish lines in Louisiana.
McNeal said: “They’re going to have to demonstrate that to us, and then they’re going to have to go to one of the state-approved regulatory gaming labs and prove to them also that it is not allowed to be played in the parishes that opted out.”
He added: “We will also be periodically monitoring that and make sure it is operating the way it is supposed to”.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Mike Noel, predicts that it would be late spring before fantasy sports betting sites will be operational.
He said: “Once the state police begin receiving applications, it’s probably a couple of months at least because to go through the applications, there’s a number of technical requirements that have to be met.”
He added: “I anticipate that will take a few months.”
All users, interested in participating in fantasy sports contest will be charged an entry fee to create a virtual roster of real athletes while hope they record better individual statistics than other entrants’ rosters for a chance for a payout.
The contests will be limited to participants above 21 years of age, and the state’s take from an 8% tax on the net gambling revenue will help fund charity causes, connected to early childhood education.
Voters in 47 of the 64 parishes approved betting on fantasy sports in late 2018. Legislators and regulators then had to create the rules and the tax level before the State Police could invite operators to apply.
In another expansion of gambling, voters in 55 parishes supported the legalization of betting on real sports. But it might be 2022 by the time bettors are allowed to wager in Louisiana on football and other games.
Legislators will use this spring’s session to set tax rates and create a plan for betting on sporting events.
Source: “Louisiana opens applications for sports betting licenses”, WBRZ, February 23, 2021