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Mobile sports betting in LA kicks off Friday morning

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chair Ronnie Johns announced mobile sports betting will go live in the state beginning at 8, Friday morning.

NEW ORLEANS — LSU’s Joe Burrow and fellow Tiger alum and Archbishop Rummel standout Ja’Marr Chase are in the AFC Championship game with Cincinnati on Sunday. 

It’s just one of the sporting events this weekend where Louisiana gamblers will be able to place a bet on their phone, mobile device or computer. 

"Everything’s been tested, many, many times,” Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chair Ronnie Johns said. “We feel like we’re in good shape and we’re excited about it. We think it’s going to be a huge weekend for sports betting.” 

Johns announced mobile sports betting will go live in the state beginning at 8, Friday morning.  

In-person sportsbooks opened in the state at the end of October. 

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m very proud of how we’ve done it,” Johns said. “So many people think you can just flip a switch and turn on mobile sports betting. It’s very difficult. There’s a lot of compliance issues, a lot of regulatory issues, a lot of technology issues.” 

The first in-person sportsbooks opened at Caesars Harrah's New Orleans. 

Casino GM Samir Mowad says based on the interest in on-site betting, online wagering is sure to be a hit with gamblers. 

“What we’ve see with our in-person sportsbook that we’ve established behind me, at both our property here and in Bossier City, I think that it speaks to the interest that there is,” Mowad said. 

The often-advertised Caesars Sportsbook app is one of a handful approved to take bets this weekend. 

“We know folks are doing it (illegally),” Mowad said. “They’re even doing it online in some cases. Now, the fact that we’re going to offer a regulated platform, that they can participate in, knowing that it’s being monitored by the state and others, I think there’s going to be a ton of interest.” 

Mobile sports betting will be allowed in 55 of the state's 64 parishes where voters approved it. People in parishes where voters said no to this form of gambling won’t be able to place a bet, because of a technology called geo-fencing. 

“The technology is very accurate,” Johns said. “If you’re in the geographical boundaries of one of those nine parishes, your phone will not work with a mobile app, your iPad, your laptop computer, whatever.” 

The state will get 15 percent of what the sportsbooks win on mobile betting. 

Early childhood education gets a large chunk of the tax revenue along with local governments and the purses at state horse tracks. 

“It’s going to be an exciting weekend for sports betting,” Johns said. “We’re basically now regulating and taxing a form of betting that’s been there forever, through illegal bookies, through illegal offshore accounts.” 

To place a mobile sports bet, you must be at least 21 years old, not be affiliated with the online platform and live in a parish where voters approved it. 

Sports betting kiosks at bars, restaurants and truck stop casinos will be regulated by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation. 

They are still months away from rolling out across the state. 

RELATED: Mobile sports betting to go live in Louisiana Friday

RELATED: Sports betting begins in Louisiana