Former New Orleans Saint Joe Horn Places First Legal Sports Bet in Louisiana

Posted on: October 6, 2021, 01:55h. 

Last updated on: August 2, 2022, 11:31h.

Joe Horn, a Louisiana fan favorite when he played for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, placed the first legal sports bet in state history on Wednesday at the Paragon Casino Resort, according to the USA Today Network.

Joe Horn
Former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, left, examines his betting ticket at the Paragon Casino Resort on Wednesday. Horn placed the first legal sports bet in Louisiana history. (Image: Greg Hilburn Twitter feed)

Paragon Casino Resort began accepting bets on Wednesday at 3 pm. The casino is on tribal land in Marksville, about 90 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, the capital city.

Horn’s bet was a seven-team parlay, according to a tweet from USA Today Network reporter Greg Hilburn.

On his Twitter feed, Hilburn noted that Paragon, the first casino to open a legal sportsbook in Louisiana, does not fall under state jurisdiction.

Paragon is an American Indian casino. Thus, it’s not regulated by the Louisiana Gaming Commission and the state collects no revenue,” Hilburn tweeted.

The sportsbook at Paragon, called The Draft Room, is being operated in partnership with Betfred Sports.

The Draft Room features theater seating, a restaurant, and bar, 112 television screens. and three VIP “fan caves” for private groups, according to

Marshall Pieritem, chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, said he is “thrilled to help usher in sports betting to our state.” The tribe owns the Paragon hotel-casino.

Other Sportsbooks Opening Soon

The Louisiana Gaming Control Board is expected to grant sports-betting licenses soon to commercial properties that it regulates.

Louisiana is home to 13 riverboat casinos, one land-based casino in New Orleans, and four racinos — horse tracks with slots.

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) this summer signed legislation legalizing sports betting in the state. It will take effect at commercial gambling halls once the Control Board sets the rules to regulate and tax the industry. The new law allows sports betting in the 55 of 64 parishes that approved it during last year’s election. 

The Control Board has targeted the fall football season to launch sports betting. A hoped-for start date in September was delayed by Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm that made landfall south of New Orleans in late August. The deadly hurricane knocked out power across the region, forcing casinos along the Gulf Coast to close temporarily.  

Once sports betting is up and running at commercial casinos in Louisiana, bettors will be allowed to place wagers in person at casino sportsbooks. Smartphones and other mobile devices also will be allowed in betting on live athletic events. Kiosks will be available in placing bets inside bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Bordering States Mull Mobile Betting

Louisiana will be the only state in its immediate vicinity allowing bettors to use their smartphones to place bets. Nationwide, the majority of sports bets are made on mobile devices, such as smartphones.

In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) recently told he would be supportive of mobile sports betting if the Arkansas Racing Commission puts appropriate rules in place, including geofencing, which restricts betting to a defined geographic area. Arkansas’ three commercial casinos have sportsbooks with betting windows and kiosks that allow for on-site wagering.

Jay McDaniel, the newly named state Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director, recently said he expects the state Legislature next year to take up the issue of mobile sports betting. Mississippi is home to 26 commercial casinos. On-site sports betting is allowed inside the casinos.