And just like that, Louisiana will open its first retail sportsbook this afternoon.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe-owned Paragon Casino Resort announced late Tuesday that the casino has entered into a partnership with Betfred Sports and will open the state’s first retail sportsbook today, Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. CST.
Betfred is also currently licensed in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Colorado, with Nevada, Washington, Virginia and Arizona pending regulatory approval.
The retail sportsbook will be the first to open in Louisiana. Commercial casinos are still waiting the official go-ahead to open their own sportsbooks.
“Louisiana is an exciting opportunity for Betfred Sports to continue its expansion in the U.S. after successful launches in Iowa, Colorado and Pennsylvania. 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,” Mark Stebbings, Betfred Group Chief Operating Officer, said in a press release.
Betfred Sports will operate the sportsbook. The partnership does not yet include an online sports betting component for the sportsbook operator.
Louisiana’s commercial casinos, racinos and riverboats could potentially open the doors to their own sportsbooks this month. Sportsbook operators are jockeying for position in the state, with several market access agreements already announced.
There is no current timeline for online sports betting. It will be the second phase of the sports betting launch in the state, Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns told Saturday Down South in a previous interview. The online vendors need to be licensed in Louisiana and go through background checks before any online betting or partnerships can be made.
Louisiana will allow 20 sports betting licenses, one each for the the state’s 15 riverboat casinos, four racinos (horse tracks) and one land-based casino. Each license will also include two mobile licenses, which could mean a potential of 41 “skins” for Louisiana online sports betting. The one additional skin would be allotted to the Louisiana Lottery Corporation.
Each facility awarded a sports betting license will be required to construct a retail sportsbook.
Facilities with Class-A onsite consumption liquor licenses can receive a mobile wagering device, called a kiosk, to allow patrons to participate in online sports betting while in their facility. This would be run under the purveyance of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and revenue would be taxed at 10%.
A sports betting ban on in-state collegiate programs was not included in the bill.
Sports betting will be legal in 55 of 64 Louisiana parishes that approved the measure in the November 2020 general election. In-person and online sports betting will not be permitted for residents living in the following parishes: