December‘s Louisiana Gaming Control Board meeting provided a look at the future of sports betting in Louisiana.
Before the Lousiana State Police provided a licensing update Thursday, a gaming revenue report shed light on the first month of sports betting in Louisiana. Eight casinos reported $27.6 million in November retail sports bets, with sportsbooks generating $5.7 million in revenue, a 20.6% hold.
“I’m just elated as to where we are at this point in time,” LGCB Chairman Ronnie Johns said at the meeting. “I don’t think the legislature thought we could do it this quickly. It’s been a huge success, we didn’t rush it to the point where we made some major mistakes.”
There is, however, no definitive timeline to when online LA sportsbooks might launch. Johns hopes the mobile sportsbooks can start to launch sometime in January.
Retail Louisiana sportsbooks took off
The November numbers included Oct. 31 for Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino, the first two retail sportsbooks open in Louisiana. Both are Caesars Sportsbook properties, which is looking for a big share of the LA market.
Penn National Gaming opened up several sportsbooks throughout November:
- L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge
- L’Auberge Casino Lake Charles
- Boomtown Casino Bossier City
- Boomtown Casino New Orleans
DraftKings Sportsbook at Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles also opened up in early November. Five Boyd Gaming casinos were approved for retail sportsbooks Dec. 2.
What’s next for Louisiana sports betting?
In Louisiana sports betting legislation, there are 20 licenses available for commercial casinos and racetracks in the state. All but one have submitted their license applications and the final one is pending, according to a report by Major Chuck McNeal of the Louisiana State Police.
With all 20 possible applicants applying by the end of 2021, there will be no competitive bid process for outstanding licenses, McNeal said. The Louisiana Lottery also received a license in the legislation, and its plan should be announced by early 2022.
Johns has signed 13 of the licenses for retail sportsbooks and expects to sign the remaining batch in the coming weeks.
Mobile coming to Louisiana?
Johns previously told LSR he expects mobile sports betting to go live by January 2022.
McNeal said the State Police are now reviewing the internal controls for mobile sports betting for the 13 licensees already approved for retail sports betting. He declined to give a timeframe to the board.
“We’re working diligently on that to get that done because we know that’s a big revenue source and something the public wants,” McNeal said.