Louisiana sports betting kicks off Wednesday as Betfred Sports begins taking bets at a retail sportsbook at Paragon Casino Resort.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe owns the Paragon Casino, and is not one of the 20 casinos and racinos named in Louisiana sportsbook legislation. Because the casino sits on tribal land, it does not need state regulatory approval.
On Tuesday, Betfred announced it would start taking sports bets at 3 p.m. CT at the casino in Marksville, about three hours northwest of New Orleans.
“As a native Louisianan and Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, I am thrilled to help usher in sports betting to our state,” Chairman Marshall Pierite said in a release. “This partnership with Betfred Sports promises continued success for Paragon as we continue our mission to provide a first-class gaming destination and vacation experience to our neighbors and guests coming to Central Louisiana.”
Commercial casinos wait for licenses
Commercial casinos must wait for the signature of Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns.
“I had heard they were building out a sportsbook, but just found about two hours ago they were planning to open,” Johns told LSR Tuesday evening. “It’s all legal. They have the right to open, but I did not have to sign off on it.
“We’re close to having some licenses go into effect. Hopefully, we’ll have some good news shortly on some licenses.”
Last week, Johns told LSR Hurricane Ida delayed the LA sports betting licensing process.
Louisiana sports betting delay
Johns said Hurricane Ida redirected the efforts of Louisiana State Police troopers assigned to sports wagering license review. Louisiana sports betting legislation allocates a license to each of the state’s 20 casinos and racinos, including up to two online skins.
While operators missed the original Oct. 1 launch date, Johns said regulators are “100 percent engaged” again and are moving as “quickly as possible.” Johns declined to predict a new launch date.
However, he said he would sign licenses as soon as the state police recommend an applicant. He also said retail sportsbooks are several months ahead of online operators.
Betfred Sports market access
Betfred and Paragon Casino partnered on The Draft Room, a “Las Vegas-style sportsbook” with 112 TVs, table and bar seating, and betting counters and kiosks.
“With this new partnership, I hope visitors from across the region will have the chance to experience it for themselves,” Paragon Casino General Manager Marshall Sampson, Sr., said. “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.”
UK-based Betfred is also active in:
According to a release, Betfred is waiting for regulatory approval in: