A local high roller in northern Louisiana kicked off legal sports betting in the state in a big way, betting $50,000 on the Lions at +3.5 at Caesars Bossier City Horseshoe Casino Sunday morning. The bet was a loser, but two months after Hurricane Ida delayed the start of legal sports betting, state regulators launched two operators at four retail locations in the last two days. In both Bossier City and New Orleans, Caesars Sportsbook was the first to take bets Sunday morning at 7 a.m. local time, and Penn National Gaming took its first wagers at 4 p.m. local time Monday.
The pair account for a total of eight retail locations in Louisiana, where digital wagering is expected to go live early next year.
Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert made the first bet at Caesars’ Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans — the only land-based casino in the state — on Sunday morning. The Louisiana native took the Saints at +4.5 versus the Buccaneers, and the bet was a winner after New Orleans handed Tampa’s defending Super Bowl champions just their second loss of the season, 36-27. The $2,056 in proceeds from the bet will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
According to Caesars Sportsbook Vice President of Trading Craig Mucklow, interest in wagering — on the Saints, in particular — was high Sunday. “Stakes were 30:1 in favor of the Saints for bettors in Louisiana,” he said.
Hours before Monday Night Football kicked off, Penn National Gaming began taking bets at two of its five Louisiana properties: the L’Auberge in Baton Rouge and the Boomtown Casino in suburban New Orleans. The first bets at both locations were placed at about 4 p.m. local time.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser cut the red ribbon at a ceremony earlier in the day at the Boomtown Casino, while Randy Rantz, CEO of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame — and a former MLB relief pitcher — led festivities at L’Auberge, where ex-Louisiana State University quarterback Rohan Davey was set to make the first bet.
Two more licenses coming soon
Under Louisiana’s new law, there are 20 sports betting licenses available to existing casinos and horse racetracks. Bettors will also be able to wager on lottery kiosks at about 1,000 retail locations around the state. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board will continue to issue licenses as the state police sign off on applications. On Monday, the LGCB said two more are in the works:
— John Guidroz (@JohnAmPress) November 1, 2021
Peek at action on the first day
Here’s a look at what the first two days of live wagering looked like at Caesars properties around Louisiana …
Sports betting is live in Louisiana! 🙌
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 31, 2021
Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino made history by accepting their first-ever in-person sports bets through the Caesars Sportsbook on Sunday.
— The Shreveport Times (@shreveporttimes) November 1, 2021
… and at Penn National’s Baton Rouge location:
We’re moments away from L’Auberge Casino opening their sports betting operation.
— Perry Robinson, III (@ThePRobReport) November 1, 2021