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Online sports betting set to launch by mid-January 2022 in Louisiana

Aubry Procell
The Belle of Baton Rouge Casino Hotel (pictured) is among the state’s 11 casinos without a sports betting license. It is owned by sportsbook operator Caesars Entertainment. Photo taken Nov. 14, 2021.

Four more Louisiana casinos received sports betting licenses Monday, bringing the state’s total number of retail sports betting locations to eight.

Online betting also will kick off in about two months, according to Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns.

Johns expects the first licenses for online sports betting to be approved in early or mid-January 2022, before NFL playoffs, WDSU reports. The date is a slight delay from what Johns originally said about online betting’s start in the state, which was earlier reported to likely begin by Jan. 1, 2022.

“That’s where the real true interest is. We want to do it quickly, but we want to do it the right way,” Johns told the Advocate last week.

Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook are letting Louisiana residents sign up for app and web accounts, but bets can’t be placed until their mobile betting licenses are approved.

Here are the four casinos that began taking sports bets this week and the sportsbook operating at each location:

Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Bossier City, Barstool Sportsbook
Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, Barstool Sportsbook
L'Auberge Casino Hotel in Lake Charles, Barstool Sportsbook
Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, DraftKings Sportsbook

And here are the four that began taking bets in late October and early November:

The Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Caesars Sportsbook
Boomtown Casino and Hotel in Harvey, Barstool Sportsbook
Harrah’s New Orleans, Caesars Sportsbook
L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge, Barstool Sportsbook

These eight casinos join Paragon Casino Resort, which began taking bets earlier because it is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi tribe and is not regulated by the Gaming Control Board. The casino’s sportsbook, operated by Betfred Sports, began taking wagers Oct. 6.

The state’s first legal bet was made that day by Joe Horn, a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.

Five of the state’s 19 Gaming Control Board-regulated casinos and racetracks have not yet applied for sports betting licenses, but Johns said that they plan to do so within the next six weeks. The deadline to apply for a license is Dec. 31, 2021. The deadline to apply for a license is Dec. 31, 2021. The applications of six casinos and racetracks are still under review.

Applicants must pay the state $750,000 for the initial sports betting license and $500,000 for annual license renewal.

Sports betting became legal in 55 parishes following a statewide popular vote last November. Sports betting in casinos regulated by the state Gaming Control Board was expected to begin in September 2021, but Hurricane Ida delayed the launch by several weeks because state troopers were pulled away to work rescue and recovery missions instead of vetting sports wagering license applications.

Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.