Louisiana Legal Retail Sports Betting Off to a Strong Start

Louisiana Football Field

Legal sports betting in Louisiana is up and running. The state just released some impressive numbers for the month of November. Unfortunately for online sports betting fans, the only legal betting action at this time is on the retail level at select casinos.

Legal sports betting was first approved in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes. This was the result of a Louisiana voter referendum in November’s 2020 general election. Once the necessary laws were passed this year, the regulatory process got underway.

While the entire sportsbook industry circled early September as the target for launch, unexpected delays stalled the process. As a way to salvage most of the football season, emergency provisions were put into place. This was designed to expedite the licensing process for legal retail sportsbooks in land-based casinos.

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Legal Sports Betting in Louisiana Casinos

Louisiana has a strong state-wide network of land-based casinos in place. This goes back to 1994 when Harrah’s opened its riverboat casino in Shreveport. On Oct. 31 of this year, both Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City went live with their retail sportsbooks.

Since that point, six more in-state casinos have launched legal sports betting through on-site retail sportsbooks. During the month of November, these eight retail books took in $27.6 million in sports bets at their facilities.

November’s total sports betting handle generated $5.7 million in revenue for those eight books. This reflects a very healthy 20.6% hold. A sportsbook’s hold is the difference between the money paid out on winning bets and the money collected plus the standard 10% commission (juice) on losing wagers.

Louisiana Gaming Commission Board Chairman Ronnie Jones was extremely pleased with November’s results. At the LGCB’s monthly meeting in December, he made the following statement:

“I’m just elated as to where we are at this point in time. I don’t think the legislature thought we could do this quickly. It’s been a huge success, we didn’t rush it to the point where we made some major mistakes.”

Louisiana Sportsbook Players

Caesars Entertainment is the owner and operator of Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino. Through a very strong marketing commitment in the state, Caesars is looking to gain a huge share of the market.

The Reno-based gaming giant became the official naming sponsor of the Louisiana Superdome as the home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Caesars Sportsbook is also an official sports betting partner of LSU as the biggest college athletics program in the state.

More recently, Caesars Sportsbook added the entire Manning family as brand ambassadors given Archie Manning’s strong ties to New Orleans.

Along with Caesars’ two retail sportsbooks, Penn National Gaming made a big splash in November. This Pennsylvania-based regional casino operator opened retail sportsbooks in five Louisiana properties. This list includes:

  • L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge
  • L’Auberge Casino Lake Charles
  • Boomtown Casino Bossier City
  • Boomtown Casino New Orleans
  • Margaritaville Casino- Bossier City

The other retail sportsbook open for business in November was the Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles. DraftKings runs the retail book for this gaming venue.

There is still a chance that legal mobile sports betting will launch ahead of Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13.

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