Four state-licensed casinos are now able to provide sports wagering at their locations. While Harrah's New Orleans and Horseshoe held ceremonies where New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert and Mayor Tommy Chandler placed the first bets on Sunday, Penn National's L'Auberge and Boomtown casinos will start its operations on Monday afternoon. The licenses were granted on Friday and Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said more licenses will be issued soon.
As of October 31, four state-licensed casinos in Louisiana are now able to provide sports betting at their locations, after having won approval for their licensing applications from state gambling regulators. The licenses were issued on Friday, and even though some casinos have already begun operating sports wagering, others decided to wait until Monday.
Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told The Advertiser the licenses are for Harrah’s New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City and Boomtown Casino in Harvey. L’Auberge and Boomtown casinos, both owned by Penn National Gaming, will open their sportsbooks at 4 p.m. Monday.
Bobby Hebert places Harrah's first bet.
Being part of Caesar’s Entertainment, both Harrah's New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino held simultaneous first bet events at temporary retail sportsbooks inside Harrah's and Horseshoe. Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert placed the first bet on Sunday at Harrah’s New Orleans on his old team to cover the 4.5-point spread against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At the same time, Mayor Tommy Chandler cut the ribbon to get wagering underway in Bossier City. Lines of sports fans eager to get in on the action built at both sportsbooks, led in Bossier City by a guest betting $55,000 on the Detroit Lions to cover +3.5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mayor Tommy Chandler at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Horseshoe.
Voters in 55 parishes legalized sports betting on live-action games. Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville started offering sports betting at its tribal casino on October 6, but the Gaming Control Board took longer to license the first state-regulated sports betting sites.
Ronnie Johns stated Friday that it is “an exciting day for the state” as there had been “tremendous interest. We’ve had calls every day for months asking about the timing”. He also explained that the Police review of applications was disrupted by Hurricane Ida because troopers were deployed for response work.
Johns added he will issue more licenses as soon as he gets more approvals from the State Police.
With mobile sports wagering still pending regulatory approval, sports fans in the region will be able to place their wagers in-person, at the sportsbooks inside casinos and racetracks. According to Johns, these sportsbooks are expected to be up and running by 2022 before the casinos begin offering mobile online betting options.
On October 22, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board voted unanimously for FanDuel to join DraftKings in launching fantasy sports contests in the 47 parishes allowed to have the gaming after the November 2018 election outcome. DraftKings has been up and running in Louisiana for months.
The decision makes Louisiana the 47th state to approve FanDuel. Tammy Hop, an auditor with the Louisiana State Police Gaming Division, gave a report to the commission concerning their projected revenue. “FanDuel expects to generate approximately $1.5 million in daily fantasy sports revenues for its first year of operations in Louisiana,” said Hop.
Sports betting will be prohibited in Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine Union, West Carroll and Winn parishes, where voters rejected the gambling expansion, and technology will prevent residents within those parish borders from accessing mobile sports betting applications unless they go to a place where voters authorized
In an official press release, Dan Real, Regional President, Caesars Entertainment, spoke about the new sports betting option at the brand’s properties and said: "Today was historic for us as a company and we're excited to open our new Caesars Sportsbook locations at Harrah's New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City to honor the legacy these properties hold in the region. We can't wait to introduce all that sports betting has to offer to sports fans while sharing our emphasis on responsible gaming."
Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital, added: "The launch of our sportsbooks at Harrah's and Horseshoe is just the beginning. Once mobile sports betting is live, we look forward to serving sports fans on every platform and offering all of our customers unforgettable experiences with Caesars Rewards."