Caesars Entertainment continues to broaden its footprint in Louisiana as the state prepares for the launch of legal sports betting, with Thursday’s approval by lawmakers of the company’s naming rights agreement at the Superdome.
While several news outlets said the deal to rename the Saints’ stadium is worth $138 million over its 20-year span, Sports Business Journal reported Caesars is paying at least $10 million annually or $200 million over the length of the agreement.
(Update: The deal was formally announced Monday, July 26, a few days after legislators’ approval).
The legalization of sports betting in the state is a key motivator behind Caesars’ partnership with the Saints, as the company is a major player in the space nationally. It is operating in several states where sports betting is already live and completed a $4 billion acquisition of William Hill, an international sportsbook brand, in April. William Hill’s retail sportsbook operations are being rebranded Caesars and its digital books Caesars Sports.
Louisiana Sports Betting
Sports betting is legal, but not yet live, in Louisiana. Bills legalizing and regulating the activity were signed into law by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in June, but sports betting cannot take place until rules are written and implemented by the state’s Gaming Control Board.
Caesars also operates and plans to rebrand Harrah’s New Orleans, Louisiana’s only land-based casino that’s not on tribal land.
Louisiana law calls for up to 20 sports betting licenses and 41 mobile betting platforms; expect the Caesars brand to be prominent on the state’s legal sports betting landscape.
While the absence of a GCB chairperson – Mike Noel resigned the post amid controversy on June 9 – may be holding up launch, some stakeholders believe sports betting could go live in the state this Fall.
(Update: Ronnie Johns resigned from the state Senate to accept Gov. Edwards’ appointment as LGCB chair).
Caesers’ deal with the Saints lends further evidence that the NFL is embracing legal gambling. While several NFL teams have marketing agreements with gaming companies, this is the first naming rights sponsorship between a casino and a pro football franchise in the US. As noted by NOLA.com, Hard Rock’s deal with the Miami Dolphins does not include any gambling references.
Caesars replaces Mercedes-Benz as the Superdome’s naming rights sponsor, as the carmaker’s 10-year, $50-60 million deal ended July 15.