On November 4th, 2020, 55 out of the 64 Louisiana parishes voted to allow sports betting within their borders. Where are we now, almost a year later?
If you’re a Louisiana resident, you currently only have one option for sports betting in the state, and that’s at the Paragon Casino in Marksville. While the legislation passed in May 2021 approved 20 commercial licenses for the state, not one is up and running yet. Paragon Casino resides on the Tunica-Biloxi Reservation, which exempts them from following the same regulations that other casinos have to follow in the state.
Paragon Casino partnered with Betfred Sportsbook to build the 8,000 square foot retail sportsbook and restaurant this year. Bettors in Louisiana placed their first legal wagers on October 6th, 2021. You’ll find an array of betting options at the Betfred location. Visitors can place wagers at their self-serve kiosks or gain the advice of their team members at one of their betting windows. You can also reserve a VIP suite if you’re looking for a more private space to enjoy the game. Paragon still doesn’t have an online sports betting option, so all wagers placed must be in person.
When will other sportsbooks come to the state?
Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman, Ronnie Johns, believes the remaining 20 approved sportsbooks in the state could begin launching by November 1st. Out of those 20 licenses, 13 have submitted their applications to the state, waiting for approval. Johns has stated he’s looking to sign these in batches rather than launching one by one.
Should we see a November 1st launch date, online sports betting may not be available for quite some time. Each license allows up to two online skins or online sportsbooks. These licenses are a separate load for the state regulators, and Johns has stated it would be “a couple of months” before we see any online sportsbooks go live.
Among these retail locations are a couple of familiar faces. Boyd Gaming (FanDuel) and Penn National Gaming (Barstool Sportsbook) own five properties in the state. With the 20-year agreement with the New Orleans’ Saints to rebrand the Superdome as the Caesars Superdome, Caesars is perhaps the front runner in Louisiana. Caesars will be bringing retail sports betting to both Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City. Along with the renovation of Isle of Capri Lake Charles, Caesars will have quite a presence in the sports betting scene in Louisiana.
Caesars also launched their app in the state, allowing users to download and sign up for accounts. Although they don’t have an official start date, they’ll most likely start with a soft launch where only a limited number of bettors will be able to make wagers. Nonetheless, they’re already offering a $100 bonus to new accounts registered in Louisiana. If you’re interested in participating in online sports betting this year in Louisiana, be sure to keep an eye on Caesars.