Thirteen of Louisiana’s 20 commercial casinos have applied for sports betting licenses, with the rest expected to follow suit before January 1, 2022. January 1 is the deadline for casinos to apply for these licenses. However, the earliest applicants expect to offer sports betting before the new year.
KTBS reports that Louisiana’s chief gambling regulator, Ronnie Johns, has the authority to allow casinos to open temporary sportsbooks. These would be retail locations where casinos could offer sports betting while regulators process the remaining paperwork.
So, Louisiana’s commercial casinos could get a head start on sports betting before New Year’s Day.
Early Sports Betting In Louisiana
Although Louisiana’s retail casinos are waiting for their temporary certificates, one tribal casino already offers sports betting. The Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville hosted the first legal sports bet in Louisiana. Retired Saints player, Joe Horn, cast a seven-leg parlay to mark the sportsbook’s opening on October 6. Because the Paragon Casino Resort is a tribal casino, it had to wait only for sports betting to become legal to open a sportsbook. It didn’t have to wait for state regulators to award a license. Instead, it’s governed by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
BetFred Sports is operating the sportsbook at Paragon.
This early round of sports betting license applications from retail casinos was the next expected step after the Paragon Casino Resort’s sportsbook went live. Gambling is a major part of Louisiana’s economy. The only things that contribute more money to Louisiana’s general fund are sales and income taxes. So, Louisiana’s retail casinos are anxious to dive into sports betting early and capture market share as soon as they can.
Once the state approves mobile licenses, Louisiana’s commercial casinos can launch mobile sportsbooks with their partnered sportsbook operators. Mobile sports betting is likely a few more months away. But bettors will be able to trickle into retail sportsbooks and enjoy the new sports lounges available to them.
Big changes are coming to Louisiana’s gambling industry. A few weeks may sound like a long time to bettors. But it’s lightning-fast on a company’s or regulator’s timeline.