Louisiana Gambling Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told the USA Today News Network on Wednesday that mobile sports betting will launch there at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 28.
According to reporter Greg Hilburn, Johns told him that BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel will be among the first to begin offering mobile and online sports bets in Louisiana, home of 4.6 million residents.
WynnBET announced its launch of pre-registration and deposit-gathering on Tuesday, so that company figures to have ambitions of an early leap.
Retail sports betting in Louisiana began in late October.
“It’s going to be huge,” Johns told Hilburn. “I can’t tell you have many people ask me about this every day. … Our goal was to have it available before the Super Bowl, so we were able to beat that target. It will be ready for this weekend’s NFL conference championship games.”
And that’s a very big deal. The Saints didn’t make the playoffs this year, and head coach Sean Payton left the team on Tuesday. But if the Louisiana sports betting market is like every other one in the United States, the Super Bowl will be the most popular event of the year for bettors and the most lucrative for operators and state tax coffers.
New Orleans’ status as a host of numerous professional and amateur championship games will make it an interesting case study in the sports betting habits of tourists. Gambling companies appear to have noticed, with Caesars securing long-term naming rights to the Superdome and becoming the official sportsbook of LSU athletics.
Caesars is apparently ready to go. Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital said in a statement:
“Caesars Sportsbook is ready for mobile sports betting’s debut in Louisiana on Friday. This is an opportunity we’ve been working toward for a long time. We have a proud history of operating in Louisiana with our properties Harrah’s New Orleans, Horseshoe Bossier City, and the soon to re-open Horseshoe Lake Charles. We can’t wait to offer Louisianans more convenient access to Caesars Rewards through the Caesars Sportsbook app. We’re confident that the Caesars Sportsbook app will offer Louisianans the most competitive odds and the very best in rewards, with every wager earning Caesars Rewards. We’ve seen tremendous interest in legal sports betting since the opening of our Caesars Sportsbooks at Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City. Come Friday, through the app, we’ll be able to offer even more opportunities to experience the thrill of sports wagering.”
Louisiana sports betting is already active in retail
Sports betting is legal in 55 of 64 Louisiana parishes after a voter referendum last fall. There are currently 14 active retail sportsbooks in Louisiana.
Thirteen are licensed by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, while the facility in the Paragon Casino is run by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and is subject to compact law.
The Louisiana mobile launch has been complicated by regulatory and licensing problems. Some of those were made worse in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in the fall.
Louisiana State Police were initially in charge of collecting reams of paper applications from hopeful operators before remitting them to the Gambling Control Board.