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Louisiana regulator approves four casinos for sports betting

Louisiana betting news

As of October 31, bettors in the Bayou State now have legal sportsbook options to choose from.

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) issued sports betting licenses to four casinos last Friday, allowing them to start taking wagers on Sunday. The four facilities green-lighted by the state regulator are Harrah’s in New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, and Boomtown Casino in Harvey.

Announcing the approved permits, LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns said that he was thrilled to see the licensing process take off. He also said that the Commission and State Police were in the process of reviewing more applications, which they hoped to issue in a few days to come.

Johns signed off on the licenses on Friday morning following recommendations from the Louisiana State Police Division of Gaming Enforcement. The department is responsible for carrying out investigations on applicants to determine their suitability to operate in the state.

The permits took effect on Sunday at 12:01am.

“It was a good day, excited that we got something started,” stated Johns.

“This morning the state police sent over the recommendation to license these four casinos. We’re moving forward with the outstanding applications and hopefully, within the next few days, we’ll roll out another batch.”

Some 13 of the 20 eligible racinos and casinos applied for Louisiana sports betting permits in the first round of applications, which means that the regulator has nine remaining license bids to review. The remaining facilities are expected to apply before January.

Harrah’s New Orleans kicks off LA sports betting

Following the approval from the state regulator, Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans was the first facility to announce that it was ready to start taking in-person wagers on the opening day.

The new Caesars-branded retail sports betting lounge opened at 7am on Sunday, with former NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert kicking off the action with the ceremonial first wager. The launch makes Caesars the first operator to run a commercial sportsbook in Louisiana.

Harrah’s sister facility, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, was also ready to start taking bets on Sunday morning. Both casinos are owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment, and will be offering sports betting under the Caesars brand.

The other two licensees, L’Auberge Baton Rouge and Boomtown Casino in Harvey will open their retail sportsbooks on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The Sportsbook at L’Auberge will start taking wagers at 4pm Monday, while Boomtown is on schedule to roll out operations at 4:15pm on Tuesday.

The Penn National Gaming owned casinos will feature Barstool sportsbooks.

Mobile betting to start on January 1, 2022

Although it was expected that the state would roll out both retail and online wagering at the same time, Louisiana the regulator says that the mobile industry will not take off until a couple of months to come.

The tentative launch date for mobile wagering, according to Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chair Ronnie Johns is January 1, 2022. The reason for the delay is that the process of approving online-operators is more complicated since the state police have to travel outside the precinct to investigate the applicants.

Also, the regulators must test each operator’s geolocation technology to ensure that it blocks players from the nine parishes that did not approve sports betting when the proposition to legalize the market was put on the ballot in November last year.

However, Johns is optimistic that some of the big names like FanDuel and DraftKings will sail through the application process easily, given their excellent record in other regulated markets across the country. Besides, the two companies already hold permits to offer daily fantasy sports in the state.

Other mobile sportsbook brands expected to enter the Louisiana market when it opens include Barstool Sports, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, Bally Bet, Twinspires, WynnBet, and PointsBet.

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