Retail sports betting began in Louisiana one day earlier than expected, at 8 a.m. CST Oct. 31 at Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino.
Caesars, the properties’ owner and sports betting provider, sent an email early Sunday morning announcing the news.
Retail sports betting in Louisiana was originally expected to begin Nov. 1.
Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert placed the first legal bet at Harrah’s New Orleans.
The launch came months later than the Louisiana Gaming Control Board expected, but an already slow process of approving applications for sportsbook operators was made worse in September when Hurricane Ida ripped through the state.
While the lost time is a frustration for bettors and a loss of revenue for state coffers, legal Louisiana wagering arrived in time for the all-important NFL betting season. Including a Saints win on Sunday.
While the LSU Tigers haven’t given the locals much to cheer about or bet on, the New Orleans Saints are 5-2 after a home upset of the champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Who will offer sports bets in Louisiana on Nov. 1?
Obviously, the two Harrah’s properties, at least.
And for sure the BetFred Sportsbook at Paragon Casino Resort sportsbook will be open. That’s because the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana-owned retail shop already opened on Oct. 6 and has been taking bets ever since.
No non-tribal entities have launched. All 20 casinos and racinos in Lousiana may offer retail and online sports betting. By law, each may offer two sportsbook brands that operate independently of each other.
Therefore there could be as many as 40 different online sportsbooks active in Louisiana.
Boomtown Casino in Harvey and L’Auberge Baton Rouge plan to begin taking bets on Monday after being issued licenses on Friday.
What sportsbooks are coming to Louisiana?
Everyone expected a Caesars Sportsbook in Louisiana. It’s already invested a lot of capital to make itself a household name in Louisiana. In July, it inked a deal to gain naming rights to the Superdome, the home of the Saints. In September, the company announced that NOLA.com, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and The Advocate would serve as official odds-providers locally.
Further, in a “multi-year, seven-figure deal,” as described by LSU, Caesars Sportsbook became the exclusive gaming and sportsbook partner of the Tigers athletics program.
Caesars is currently taking sign-ups and offering $100 for those who register before mobile betting launches.
FanDuel has also announced plans to launch in Louisiana in the coming months. See Fanduel’s Louisiana promo for more.
When will mobile sports betting debut in Louisiana?
Sportsbooks preparing to offer bets believe mobile Lousiana betting will begin in a couple of months, possibly mid-December. Ida-related slowdowns have complicated this process, too. And besides that, setting up the technology to “geo-fence” the areas where sports betting is allowed and not takes time.
What areas won’t offer Louisiana sports betting?
Remember, just 55 of 64 parishes (counties) in Lousiana voted to allow sports betting. So regulators have to make sure that bets are not placed in the following parishes:
- La Salle
- West Carroll
That’s not a simple matter.
Why is launching in time for football season so important?
According to PlayUSA projections:
- More than $20 billion in single-game football wagers will be made in 2021, excluding parlay bets. Those bets could produce as much as $1.5 billion in revenue for sportsbooks.
- At least $12 billion will be bet on the NFL this season, excluding parlay bets. Those wagers will produce at least $800 million in revenue.
- College football will attract $8 billion in wagering, excluding parlay bets. Sportsbooks could win more than $550 million from those wagers.