wo sports betting licenses have been issued to Bossier City casinos Margaritaville Resort Casino and Boomtown, bringing the number of legal Louisiana sports betting operations to nine. The state’s Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns said he has issued the licenses to go into effect on Friday, although Boomtown might start its activities on Monday.
Five more licenses are still pending State Police and Board’s approval. Johns expects more applications before the end of the year.
LET’S GO! The wait is over. The Sportsbook at Margaritaville opens Friday, November 12 at 2PM. pic.twitter.com/IwjP9NsHIx
— Margaritaville BC (@Mville_BC) November 11, 2021
So far, six state-approved licenses have been issued: the first ones were granted last month to Harrah’s New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City and Boomtown Casino in Harvey.
Last week, Johns approved two Lake Charles casinos, Golden Nugget -with DraftKings as its operator- and L’Auberge Casino, with temporary licenses valid for six months. The permanent licenses will be issued in 2022.
It’s official! @DraftKings Sportsbook is now open at Golden Nugget Lake Charles! Place wagers on professional sports with real-time odds, point spreads and over/unders. pic.twitter.com/jyyKvAp4zU
— Golden Nugget LC (@GoldenNuggetLC) November 10, 2021
The first property to run sports betting at its premises was Paragon Casino in Marksville, which is operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and is not regulated by the Board.
Johns expects to grant more licenses as soon as he gets the green light from Louisiana State Police next week. Voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved legalizing sports betting in their communities last fall, but lawmakers had to set up the framework to regulate and tax sports wagers during the 2021 Legislative Session.
Online betting, however, will not be up and running until January 1st, 2022. That is the same timeline expected for bars and restaurants to secure sports betting kiosks for their customers. The Louisiana Lottery controls that segment of the industry.
Sports betting in the state was planned to kick off in the state in state-licensed casinos first, as they have already been investigated. Vendors for betting websites and apps need a full review that required more time.
According to Johns, the Louisiana State Police is currently working to verify sportsbook partners and allow the distribution of online sports betting licenses to begin soon. “We need to do this the right way. Louisiana State Police is on it, they’re working on a daily basis to have it up and running. We’re trying to have it as fast as we can, and I’m going to predict the first of the year for when we have mobile”.