Sports Betting Finally Legalized in Louisiana
Gambling has been legal in the Bayou State for years. Horserace betting was the first type of gambling legalized in Louisiana back in 1940. It would be many decades before the legislature would go on to approve other types of gambling. In fact, it was more than 50 years later that the state legalized video poker machines to be placed in bars, truck stops and convenience stores. That same year, in 1991, the Louisiana approved riverboat gambling. This led to the opening of the Casino Star along Lake Pontchartrain.
Just two years later, the first land-based casino was approved at the Rivergate site in New Orleans. Now that casino gambling was legal, various casinos would open (and close) between the 1990s and 2000s. Today, 20 land-based casinos still operate in Louisiana. And all 20 of them were eagerly awaiting recent legislation that legalized sports betting in brick-and-mortar casinos.
The First Sports Betting Wager Placed at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville
The Louisiana legislature officially legalized sports betting in on-site casinos last November. When the issue was put to a vote, 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana voted in favor of sports betting. It has taken nearly a year for the law to go into effect with the first land-based sports betting casino opening their doors on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.
The first legal sports wager was placed by none other than Joe Horn, a retired wide received from the New Orleans Saints. He walked into the sports betting lounge at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville and laid his money down on a 7-game parlay. The moment was caught on camera by all of the major news networks.
All 20 Land Based Casinos in Louisiana Expect to Launch Sports Betting Soon
While the first legal bet was made at the sportsbook site in Marksville’s Paragon Casino and Resort, it won’t be long before similar bets are being made in at least 13 of Louisiana’s 20 land-based casinos. So far, that is how many casinos have applied for a certificate of operations for sports books. The Chief Regulator of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board has indicated that he fully expects the other 7 casinos to apply for their licenses before the end of the year.
The Paragon Casino Resort is owned by the Tunica Biloxi Tribe near Marksville. The sport betting site will be operated by both Paragon and the online gambling company, Betfred. Betfred is headquartered in the UK and currently operates 3 other casinos across the U.S. These sites are in Pennsylvania, Iowa and Colorado.
Sports Betting Will Add Much Needed Revenue for the State of Louisiana
Louisiana already enjoys more than $644 million a year in gambling revenue. With sports betting now legal, that number can expect to climb significantly. To put things in perspective, sports betting has generated as much as $8 million a month in New Jersey, a state where this sort of gambling has been legal for years. Of course, even sports betting has its down months. In July of this year, for example, New Jersey only saw about $4 million in revenue. However, this is just for sports betting. The state still enjoys a tremendous amount of revenue from regular casino gambling.
Louisiana will generate this revenue through a gambling tax. All sports betting wagers that win will be taxed at the rate of 10%. That is for on-site gambling at a land-based or riverboat gambling. If someone happens to win after placing a sports wager online, the tax will be increased to 15%. Keep in mind, only the new proceeds of a wager will be taxed. If somebody bets $100 on the Saints to win and walks away with $300, they will only be taxed on the $200 profit they realized.
What About Online or Digital Sports Betting?
Now that sports betting has been legalized by the Louisiana legislature for brick-and-mortar casinos, it’s only a matter of time before the state legalizes digital and online sports betting. Under the new law, which is more than 80 pages long, places that serve alcohol are permitted to place sports betting kiosks on their property. Any liquor store, restaurant or bar that carries a Class A license will be allowed to have these machines set up in their establishment. People can place the same bets at these machines that they could place in an actual land-based or riverboat casino.
Spokespeople for the Louisiana Gaming Control Board have already indicated that they are prepared for requests to come in for digital and online sports betting. Right now, the state is still waiting for the state police to complete their vetting process for those who operate and work at the on-site casinos. They must run background checks and give the go-ahead for people to work in the sports betting lounges. A similar process will likely be required for anyone who operates or maintains a digital or online sports betting site.
What Kind of Bets are Available at the New Sports Betting Venues?
For those people who have never placed a sports wager, it may seem a bit overwhelming at first. There is an almost unlimited combinations of sports bets you can place on any given day. You can place bets for games on the day the match will be played. You an even make seasonal bets. For example, you can place a bet today for who will win the NHL Championship. The same goes for the Superbowl.
For people who want to up the ante, they can place combination bets. For example, if you like the odds in two separate bets or combine your bet. You may want to place a bet for a parlay where both teams must cover the spread. Or you may opt for a safer bet and look for Moneyline bets. These are bets where you just pick a team you think will win and hope for the best. With the variety of sports out there today, the options are truly limitless. As with any gambling, of course, you want to make sure you bet with your head and not your heart. Always monitor your own gambling behavior and, if you need help, reach out for assistance immediately.Share on facebookFacebookShare on twitterTwitter