The launch of sports betting in Louisiana met a couple of unexpected hurdles that slowed its progress, but only for a short time. The Pelican State has been anxious to get its market up and running and, even though it missed the very beginning of the NFL season, the day has finally arrived. The first Louisiana casino to host a sportsbook will begin accepting wagers this afternoon.
Paragon Casino Ready For Sports Betting
Louisiana is still wrangling with its sports betting licenses after having to deal with a last-minute change with the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and, more importantly, the Hurricane Ida disaster. The latter caused state resources that would have been used to vet out worthy operators to be redirected. As the storm damage cleanup took longer than expected, more delays in the sports betting rollout surfaced. That is now a thing of the past.
Paragon Casino, a tribal casino located in the city of Marksville, is going to be the first casino in Louisiana to take sports wagers. It will open the doors to its sportsbook at 3 PM local time this afternoon, according to a press release. The casino is owned and operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and the sportsbook is being introduced through a partnership between the tribe and Betfred Sports.
US Sports Betting Continues to Develop
The Draft Room, as the new sportsbook is known, is just the latest of many sportsbooks to begin appearing across the US landscape. More than half of the country’s population now has access to legal sports betting in one form or another, and Louisiana is poised to offer a robust market that will ultimately include land-based and online sports betting operations. Ultimately, it is expected that more than $25 million in tax revenue will be generated each year for the state.
The Draft Room, according to the press release, offers betting windows and kiosks, theater seating and a video screen wall. It also has a restaurant, three VIP “fan caves” that can be reserved for private gatherings and a total of 112 televisions. Marshall Pierite, Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, asserts, “As a native Louisianan and Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, I am thrilled to help usher in sports betting to our state.”
Other casinos will join Paragon once they have their licenses approved. Casinos were greenlighted from the start through the legislation that legalized sports betting, but still have to be reviewed and approved for a license. Because Paragon is on tribal property, it was not subjected to the same requirements, allowing it to more quickly introduce its sports betting solution. The other casinos will likely begin to launch their sportsbooks in the coming weeks.