Louisiana sports betting starts today on tribal land, with the first bets taken starting at 3 p.m. CST at the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville.
Betfred Sports is operating the sportsbook for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe at The Draft Room — a new 112-TV theater-style betting lounge with betting counters, kiosks, and VIP fan caves. It is one of four possible retail sportsbooks at federally-approved tribal casinos in Louisiana. The state regulates Louisiana’s only other tribally-owned casino located in Bossier City.
Betfred is a 54-year-old British company with partnerships in six US states including Iowa, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, and now Louisiana. The sportsbook has over 1600 betting locations in the UK and online betting in both the UK and Spain.
Betfred Group COO Mark Stebbings in a release yesterday called the Louisiana opening “an exciting opportunity for Betfred Sports to continue its expansion in the U.S. after successful launches in Iowa, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. We look forward to utilizing our 50 years of bookmaking experience with our fantastic partner, Paragon Casino Resort.”
A revenue analysis by Louisiana Sharp estimates that sports betting revenue in Louisiana will reach $219 million annually — $175 million of that from mobile and online betting. The state is home to three professional teams in the NFL, NBA, and Major League Rugby.
What’s Next in Louisiana
Commercial sports betting in Louisiana is expected to launch in 2022 under a 2021 state law that will allow 20 state-licensed operations at riverboat casinos, racetracks, and the state’s only land-based casino in New Orleans.
Each licensee will also be allowed to operate online through up to two mobile apps, with another mobile sportsbook expected to be awarded to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board is in the process of finalizing rules to regulate the commercial licensees. For now, no commercial partnership deals have been announced.
The LGCB will issue 20 sportsbook licenses — each with two mobile skins — under the 2021 law in the 55 parishes that voted to legalize sports betting last fall. The legislation was signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards in June.