At least two-thirds of Louisiana casinos eligible for sports betting licenses are a step closer to launch, with temporary sportsbook authorization possible at any time.
Thirteen of the 20 commercial casinos have now applied, say state regulators, with a retail launch expected first. The casinos have until Jan. 1, 2022 to apply for a sports betting license under Louisiana’s 2021 sports betting law. Any licenses left unclaimed would be made available to small retailers.
Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie S. Johns told KTBS-3 this week that he expects to soon receive recommendations for a temporary “certificate of authority” that will allow commercial casinos to expedite their retail launch this fall. Casinos could begin taking sports bets at temporary sportsbooks until their permanent sports betting lounges open.
Licensing could come after the licensees are fully vetted by the Louisiana State Police under the state’s 2021 sports betting law. That law allows licensed sports betting through 20 commercial casinos in 55 of 64 parishes that approved sports betting in a Nov. 2020 referendum.
Louisiana sports betting launched through UK-based Betfred Sports on tribal land on Oct. 6 at Paragon Casino Resort, owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. Mobile sports betting apps are expected to launch through the casinos in Louisiana in 2022, with a state lottery-run sportsbook also in the works.
Next Steps For Louisiana Sports Betting
Early plans for Louisiana mobile sports betting and online casino betting were announced on Sept. 30 when WynnBET entered the market in the Pelican State. WynnBET has secured market access through a casino owned by Caesars, which has ownership in three Louisiana casinos.
An analysis released by Spectrum Gaming Group pre-pandemic projected a $237 million to $332 million potential Louisiana sports betting market. Much of that revenue– as much as $135 million — would come from online sportsbooks.
How much state revenue would be generated? Between $35 million and $50 million from gaming taxes alone, according to the Spectrum study. Some estimates project annual tax revenue could reach $60 million.