After becoming the first sportsbook to partner with a Power 5 program and scoring the naming rights to the Superdome, it appears Caesars sportsbook will be the first to go live with digital wagering in Louisiana. Sources said that, on Monday, the company shared that it expects to go live as soon as this coming weekend.
Louisiana voters legalized sports betting in 55 of 64 parishes last November, and Gov. John Bel Edwards signed off on legislation detailing tax rates and some framework in June. Since then, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board has approved emergency rules and the state police have been reviewing license applications. The new law allows for up to 40 digital platforms tethered to the state’s 20 existing casinos and horse racetracks.
Caesars will be one of a group of well-known operators in the state, as Bally’s, Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, and TwinSpires have also secured market access. Of that group, Caesars is the only one to have partnered with a college athletic program in the state after announcing a deal with LSU last month.
Caesars — and several other operators — have a big footprint in Louisiana. Caesars owns the only land-based casino in the state, Harrah’s New Orleans. In addition, the company also operates at the Louisiana Downs and Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City and the Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles (closed until spring 2022). Meanwhile, Boyd Gaming (FanDuel) and Penn National Gaming (Barstool Sportsbook) each have five properties in the state.
Plenty of wagering options available
Because some casino companies own several Louisiana properties, meaning they are entitled to multiple online skins, it’s likely that there will not be 40 platforms in the state. For example, Caesars would not want to cannibalize its platform by launching additional platforms under other brands. That said, it’s possible that Penn National Gaming could have the Barstool Sportsbook platform in addition to others branded Boomtown or L’Auberge, two of the brands they operate under in the state. They will have to offer attractive sportsbook bonuses to compete for new users.
Some looks at how the Superdome will look with Caesars as the sponsor. pic.twitter.com/c3eTbCmxj8
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) July 26, 2021
Patrons will have plenty of choices for where to wager: Besides brick-and-mortar and digital sportsbooks, the new law also allows for wagering via lottery kiosks. According to the state lottery, there are approximately 1,000 kiosks across the state in restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.
Legal sports betting started Oct. 6 when the tribal Paragon Casino in Marksville opened its sportsbook. But so far, no commercial sportsbooks — retail or digital — are live in the state.
When Caesars does go live with its digital platform, it will be in soft-launch mode, which likely means only a limited amount of players will be allowed to wager and hours could be restricted initially. The company also announced that it will go live with online casino on Oct. 25 in Michigan and West Virginia, and in New Jersey sometime in November.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has its monthly meeting Thursday and will consider the bet menu.