Louisiana Mobile Sports Betting Expected to Launch Friday, Insiders Say

Posted on: January 26, 2022, 07:24h. 

Last updated on: January 26, 2022, 12:14h.

Louisiana plans to launch mobile sports betting in two days’ time, according to multiple sources who spoke to Sports Handle this week. Insiders say the state’s Gaming Control Board expects to issue temporary licenses to some operators Friday, allowing them to launch immediately.

Louisiana mobile sports betting
The New Orleans Saints’ Superdome was rebranded the Caesars Superdome, seen above, last year. The change may indicate the casino giant is prepared to go hard for sports betting in Louisiana. (Image: Action Network)

Officially, the board has been cagey on the subject of a launch date. When land-based retail licenses were issued in the fall of 2021, it said it had earmarked Jan. 1, 2022, as a possibility.

But when that deadline passed, it said it hoped to be ready before the Super Bowl on Feb. 13. However, the board has not responded to requests for comment on a launch date.

The delay can be attributed to the unique regulatory hodgepodge created by Louisiana’s sports betting legislation. This directed voters to determine whether or not to authorize sports betting in their own parishes in a November 2020 ballot.

Exactly 55 out of 64 parishes said yes, leaving regulators and operators with a geofencing challenge. Licenses also require sign-off from the Louisiana State Police.

These issues now appear to have been ironed out. Sports Handle notes on Tuesday, WynnBET began accepting preregistrations on its Louisiana platform.

Busy Market

Some 20 casinos in the state are eligible to hold mobile sports betting licenses, with two “skins” – separate brands existing under one license — available for each.

With 40 potential players in the market, it is highly unlikely all will receive licensing Friday. Instead, it’s anticipated that permits will be issued in phases, as was the case with retail betting.

Currently, just 13 retail licenses had been approved, and land-based sportsbooks have been rolled out gradually since October at 11 of the state’s 15 casinos. The remaining seven retail licenses applications, which include those for the state’s racetracks, are expected to be signed off in the coming weeks.

Legal Sports Report notes that Caesars and Penn National, the biggest players in the state’s land-based casino market, were among the first wave to receive retail betting licenses, and may also be first in the line come Friday.

Ultimatum for DiamondJacks

One property that currently isn’t in the mix is DiamondJacks in Bossier City. The casino was forced to close in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic and remains shuttered. In the meantime, its owner, Richmond, Virginia-based P2E, has been trying to relocate the casino to Slidell.

Last month, voters in St Tammany Parish, which encompasses Slidell, rejected the move.

At a Louisiana Gaming Control Board meeting last week, regulators gave P2E a deadline of February 25 to reopen the Bossier City property, which is fast becoming an eyesore, or face losing its commercial gaming license.