October 25, 2021
The official launch of Louisiana online sports betting is still a few weeks away. However, operator Caesars Sportsbook has been looking to get a headstart in the state. Caesars Sportsbook will be the first online sportsbook operator in the state that will be available for download. However, according to the chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, Ronnie Johns, the online launch is not anticipated to happen for several weeks.
Ronnie Johns has hopes that a broad retail sportsbook launch will be able to happen by as soon as November 1st. But, an online sportsbook launch would most likely be a few weeks behind that. Meanwhile, on Friday, Caesars announced the prelaunch of its sportsbook app. While no betting will be available just yet, customers will be able to download, register, and even make deposits into their accounts using the app.
In fact, bonus offers will be made available to customers who sign up for an account prior to the launch of live betting on the app. This is a strategic move on Caesars part to try and dominate the Louisiana sports betting field. At this time, Caesars operates the only land-based commercial casino in the state, Harrah’s New Orleans. But, after a $325 million renovation, the casino will be rebranded as the Caesars New Orleans by the year 2024.
Caesars also operates the Horseshoe Bossier City and Isle of Capri Casino. But, on October 21st, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board approved Caesars’ sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
These casinos represent three of the twenty casinos and racinos that are able to obtain sports betting licenses as outlined this past spring by the Louisiana sports betting legislation. Each of these licenses are able to have up to two online skins as well.
As soon as it appeared Louisiana sports betting would be legalized, Caesars Sportsbook made sure to start partnering up. Now, Caesars has become the most active in the Louisiana sports betting field. The first move they made was to purchase the naming rights to the Superdome, which is the home of the New Orleans Saints. This was followed by a partnership between Caesars and the LSU Tigers.
To build upon these sports partnerships, Caesars has also partnered with NOLA;.com, which is a media organization in the state. NOLA.com includes The Advocate as well as The Times-Picayune. This partnership also includes a dedicated sports betting site.
The licensing process in Louisiana was slowed down by Hurricane Ida. Initially, some sports betting operators were supposed to launch back in September. However, by the end of September, the required Louisiana State Police officers needed for licensing approval were back focusing on sports betting after being needed to help with the emergency response to the hurricane.
As of this writing, thirteen of the twenty possible casinos have applied for retail sports betting licenses in the state. The applications will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.
Once the applications are recommended by the Louisiana State Police, chairman Johns will sign the retail licenses. Through Caesars, the WynnBET Sportsbook has been able to secure its access to Louisiana sports betting. With Louisiana, WynnBet now has access to sports betting in seventeen states and has launched in seven states.
Back in November 2020, voters in Louisiana in fifty five out of sixty four parishes voted to approve legal sports betting. And, in June, Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards signed Louisiana sports betting legislation into law. After that, Louisiana state regulators began their work to finalize sports betting regulations. A separate process is also ongoing for the Louisiana Lottery license, which, according to lottery officials, may be able to launch as early as January 2022.
Louisiana sports betting is already happening in the state. BetFred was able to open a sportsbook earlier this month at the tribal-owned Paragon Casino.
Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can read more about our author's expertise here.