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Kickoff: Sports betting licenses issued to Louisiana casinos

Stack of chips on roulette table
Posted at 8:47 PM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-31 21:47:38-04

MONROE, La. (AP) — Four state-licensed casinos in Louisiana were able to kick off sports betting at their locations Sunday, after winning approval for their licensing applications from state gambling regulators.

Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told The Advertiser the licenses are for Harrah’s New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City and Boomtown Casino in Harvey. Wagering could begin Sunday, though it wasn’t clear if all four casinos would be ready or take a few more days to get up and running.

“This is an exciting day for the state,” Johns said Friday. “There’s been tremendous interest. We’ve had calls every day for months asking about the timing.”

Voters in 55 parishes legalized sports betting on live-action games. Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville started offering sports betting at its tribal casino on Oct. 6, but the Gaming Control Board took longer to license the first state-regulated sports betting sites.

Johns said the State Police review of applications was briefly disrupted by Hurricane Ida because troopers were deployed for response work. Johns said he will issue more licenses as soon as he gets more approvals from the State Police.

The first sports betting options will be at on-site sports books inside casinos and racetracks. Johns said it will likely be early 2022 before the casinos begin offering mobile online betting options. The Advertiser reports that’s the same timeline expected for bars and restaurants to secure sports betting kiosks through the Louisiana Lottery Corp.

Sports betting will be prohibited in Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll and Winn parishes, where voters rejected the gambling expansion. Technology will prevent residents within those parish borders from accessing mobile sports betting applications unless they go to a parish where voters authorized the wagering.