Four casinos have entered Louisiana’s fledgling sports betting market since Sunday, after the state gaming control board issued its first commercial sports book licenses on Oct. 29.
Harrah’s New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, and Boomtown Casino in Harvey now join the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville in offering retail sports book services in the state.
With operations legal from Sunday, the two Caesars properties, Harrahs and the Horseshoe, wasted no time. Their sports books opened for business at 7am, Sunday, local time.
The L’Auberge and Boomtown, both Penn National properties, took their first wagers at 4pm local time on Monday.
Cajun Cannon’s Winning Bet
Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, aka the Cajun Cannon, got up early on Sunday to place the first bet at Harrah’s.
According to Sportshandle, Herbert plunked down a ceremonial $1,100 on his former team covering a 4.5-point spread over the favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a winner later that day, and the $2,056 payout will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
The Paragon began operations back on October 12. As a tribal casino, it is not regulated by the gaming control board. It merely requires sports betting to be legal elsewhere in Louisiana to offer bets.
Delayed by Ida
Louisiana took that plunge in June, when Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed legislation to regulate and authorize sports betting. Under the new law, the wagers will be permitted in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes, as approved by voters during last November’s election.
Since then, regulators and state police have been scrutinizing license applications. The process was delayed by the visit of Hurricane Ida, because troopers were deployed for response work.
Eventually, gamblers will be able to place bets via lottery kiosks at about 1,000 retail locations around the state. They will also be able to wager via their mobile phones, but only in the 55 parishes. That creates a legal sports betting hodgepodge across the state. That’s a challenge for geolocation technology that will take time to implement.
For now, it’s strictly in-person only at the state’s casinos. There are 20 sports betting licenses available for retail betting at casinos and racetracks. The gaming control board said Monday it will continue to issue licenses as state police approve applications.
John Guidroz of the American Press in Lake Charles tweeted Monday that control board chairman Jonnie Johns had told him two more licenses were in the pipeline for the Golden Nugget Lake Charles and the L’Auberge. They should be issued within the next week or so, according to Johns.
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