Paragon Casino Launches Betfred Betting in Louisiana

Paragon Casino Launches Betfred Betting in Louisiana
© PA

Retail sports betting is now live in Louisiana.

Paragon Casino in Marksville became the first casino in the state to debut sports betting to the public. The casino’s sportsbook, “The Draft Room,” started taking bets Wednesday afternoon. Paragon's sportsbook in Louisiana operates through a partnership with Betfred Sports.

"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," said Marshall Sampson, Sr., the casino's general manager. "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 sportsbook features theater seating, a custom video wall, betting counters and kiosks. There is also a restaurant and bar offering food, beer and multiple seating options for fans to view any of the 112 TVs. There are also three VIP fan caves for private gatherings.

"Betfred Sportsbook in Louisiana is an exciting opportunity 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. “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."

Paragon Casino features a 64,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,000 Las Vegas-style slot machines and 500 hotel rooms for guests. The facility also has other amenities such as an award-winning golf course, day spa, shopping plaza and the area’s only cinema.

Online launch delayed

As retail sportsbooks go live in Louisiana, the online launch remains pending. Hurricane Ida pushed back the state’s mobile sports betting target date twice because of the destruction it caused.

The Gaming Division at the state police department is responsible with reviewing the sports wagering applications and reviewing the applicants and vendors. But since late August when the hurricane hit, the officers in the gaming division were reassigned to help with the hurricane recovery efforts.

“We lost approximately 10-14 days of licensing work during that period,” Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie 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.”

Mid-October is now when the state expects to issue temporary licenses to Louisiana sportsbooks.

Louisiana voters approved sports betting in 55 of 64 parishes when it was on the ballot in November 2020. The state will approve 20 licenses for the 15 casinos and five racinos, allowing two skins per license. There is also a 10% tax on retail wagers and a 15% tax on mobile bets.