Online Louisiana sports betting might still be weeks away, but Caesars Sportsbook is getting ahead in the state.
Bettors can prepare for online Louisiana sports betting with Caesars Sportsbook first available for download. That online launch, however, might not come for several weeks, according to Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Johns told LSR he hopes for a broad retail sportsbook launch by Nov. 1. An online launch is likely several weeks behind, Johns said.
Caesars Sportsbook gets ahead of launch
Caesars announced its prelaunch of the sportsbook app Friday. Users can download, register and make deposits on the app. No betting is available.
The sportsbook is offering bonuses for users who sign up before the first day it offers live betting.
“Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast region are a special part of the Caesars family. We couldn’t be more excited to build on our longstanding commitments in the state with the launch of legal sports betting,” Caesars Digital Co-President Eric Hession said in a statement.
Caesars wants Louisiana sports betting dominance
Caesars operates the lone land-based commercial casino in Louisiana at Harrah’s New Orleans. Following a $325 million renovation, the casino will be Caesars New Orleans by 2024.
The casino company also operates Horseshoe Bossier City and Isle of Capri Casino, but the LGCB approved its sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Oct. 21.
Those are three of the 20 casinos and racinos that can obtain licenses, according to legislation passed this spring. Each of those licenses can have up to two online skins.
Lining up deals in Louisiana
Since Louisiana sports betting appeared on the horizon, Caesars Sportsbook started to line up partnerships. The company is by far the most active in the LA sports betting market.
Building on the sports partnership, Caesars signed a deal with NOLA.com, a media organization in Louisiana that includes The Times-Picayune and The Advocate. The partnership includes a dedicated sports betting site.
Retail sports betting only for now
Hurricane Ida slowed down the licensing process in Louisiana, where some expected sports betting to start as soon as September. By the end of September, Johns told LSR the Louisiana State Police were back full strength after helping with the emergency response.
Thirteen of the 20 possible casinos have applied so far, according to Johns. He said a gentleman’s agreement is in place to consider the applications that came in first.
Johns will sign the retail licenses as they are recommended by the Louisiana State Police.
Another LA sports betting operator through Caesars
Including Louisiana, WynnBET now has access to 17 states. It is live in seven states.
Louisiana sports betting process
State regulators then went to work finalizing regulations. A separate process is ongoing for the Louisiana Lottery license, which could launch in January 2022, according to lottery officials.