Gaming Boss: Is Sports Gambling Just Around the Corner? [VIDEO]
Ronnie Jones, Chairman of Louisiana's Gaming Control Board, talks with 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about the just passed legislation calling for a parish-by-parish vote to approve sports gaming.
Both the Louisiana House of Representatives voted Wednesday to give the go ahead for a local referendum in all 64 parishes across the state. The House passed the bill 71 - 24. The Senate vote two weeks ago passed by a 29 - 9 margin.
The question to approve sports gambling will appear on the ballot in all 64 parishes in November. Here's how the question on the ballot will be worded:
"Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of _______?"
"So, a vote will be done in the fall," Jones explains, "But unless there's a special session between the vote and the regular session, we'll have to wait until the spring session next year to...figure out how sports gaming will be authorized, will it be brick and mortar casinos, will it be mobile, will it include truckstops?"
Jones also emphasizes that a number of legislators would vote in favor of online and mobile betting, "but my sense is many legislators aren't ready for that yet, so I suspect it's going to be brick and mortar facilities, whether it's limited to casinos, video poker licensees and casinos, we just don;t know.
And referring to previous legislation that approved sports fantasy gaming - legislation that has yet to be implemented - Jones adds, "I last year is any indication, this could be a messy fight."
Jones goes on to predict "that sports betting will be approved in two-thirds to three-quarters of parishes in November and in the spring some form of sports betting will be authorized."