Louisiana Casinos Apply For Sports Betting as Start Nears

Louisiana Casinos Apply For Sports Betting as Start Nears
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Retail sports betting is now live in Louisiana, and many of the state’s other casinos are looking to launch their sportsbooks.

Out of the 20 traditional casinos in Louisiana, 13 have applied for sports betting licenses with the other seven expected to apply before the Jan. 1 deadline. The first applicants might be ready to start taking wagers on football, baseball and other sporting events.

Ronnie Johns, who is on the state’s Gaming Control Board, can sign a “temporary certificate of operation,” which would allow a casino to immediately begin taking sports bets in-person at a retail sportsbook. But Johns told The Advocate he doesn’t expect to sign any of those waivers soon.

“It’s possible, but I seriously doubt I’ll have any to sign in the next two weeks,” Johns said. “But I am anticipating some recommendations very soon.”

The Control Board has a meeting coming up on Oct. 21.

Hurricane Ida has delayed the state’s retail and online sports betting launch. The Gaming Division at the state police department is tasked with reviewing the applications from potential top Louisiana sportsbooks and looking over the applicants and vendors. But when Ida hit in August, the officers in the gaming division were forced to assist with the hurricane recovery efforts.

“We lost approximately 10-14 days of licensing work during that period,” Johns told local media. “The State Police Gaming Division is now back at full capacity and is continuing the licensing process for the applicants. They are committed to getting this process done as quickly as possible while doing it in a compliant and legal way.”

Paragon Casino Launches First Sportsbook in State

Paragon Casino in Marksville became the first casino in Louisiana to offer sports betting last week. The casino’s sportsbook is called The Draft Room and started taking bets Wednesday afternoon. Paragon’s sportsbook launched through a partnership with Betfred Louisiana Sports Betting.

"Our partnership with Betfred Sports marks a new chapter for Paragon – which has always been a source of pride for Marksville and the people of Louisiana," casino general manager Marshall Sampson Sr. said. "With this new partnership, I hope visitors from across the region will have the chance to experience it for themselves. Together, we are offering a first-class sports betting platform and venue that will make Paragon Casino Resort the place to bet and watch games in Louisiana."

The Draft Room features theater seating, a custom video wall, betting counters and kiosks. There is also a restaurant and bar with food, beer and various seating options for fans to watch any of the 112 TVs showing sports. For those looking for an upgraded experience, there are three VIP fan caves for private gatherings.

"Louisiana is an exciting opportunity for Betfred Sports to continue its expansion in the U.S. after successful launches in Iowa, Colorado and Pennsylvania,” Mark Stebbings, the Betfred Group's Chief Operating Officer, said in a media release which we covered. “We look forward to utilizing our 50 years of bookmaking experience with our fantastic partner, Paragon Casino Resort, to bring the best sports betting experience to bettors in the state."