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.
Those four casinos are Harrah’s New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, and Boomtown Casino in Harvey.
Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert placed the first bet Sunday inside Harrah’s New Orleans. Hebert placed a ceremonial wager on his old team to cover the 4.5-point spread against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“This is an exciting day for the state. There’s been tremendous interest. We’ve had calls every day for months asking about the timing,” Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said Friday.
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 October 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 sportsbooks inside casinos and racetracks. Johns said it will likely be early 2022 before the casinos begin offering mobile online betting options.
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.