Congratulations, Louisiana! In the 2020 election, the state of Louisiana approved sports betting in 55 of 64 parishes. Unfortunately, it is not a turnkey situation. Setting up the infrastructure for sports betting can be a long, drawn-out process.
So, while sports betting is legal in the state Louisiana, it is not accessible. Until legal sportsbooks begin operating in the Bayou State, you’ll have to go elsewhere to scratch your sports betting itch. The hope would be that sports betting could be up and running by the 2021 NFL season, but 2022 may be a more realistic goal.
Louisiana is going to be heavily reliant on geolocation technology because sports betting will still be illegal in nine of the state’s 64 parishes. You will only be allowed to bet in the 55 that approved the measure. Furthermore, we don’t even know yet if online or mobile betting will be allowed in Louisiana.
Because 55 out of 64 parishes said yes, and there are only a handful of casinos and other gaming facilities in the state, there should be a pretty big push for online and mobile capabilities so that every parish can get a piece of the pie and the tax revenue that will come from legalized sports betting.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board will have oversight, but lawmakers and other government officials still have to hammer out all of the details. As a result, the waiting game is on from the Big Easy to Shreveport and everywhere in between. New Orleans residents will make up the largest portion of the betting handle, but it should be very popular across the state.
That will still take some time. The problem for Louisianans right now is that the options are few and far between for betting on sports until that point.
How to bet on sports in Louisiana right now means a trek to Arkansas to the north or Mississippi to the east both have legal sports betting, but only retail sports betting. That means that you can only place bets in-person at the sportsbook.
We’ll run through those options for you and the sportsbooks that operate in those places so you can familiarize yourself with some of the names that are likely to come to Louisiana when that gets going.
Arkansas is a state with retail-only wagering, which means that you will need to go to these places directly in order to place your bets.
The Oaklawn Race Track has its own sportsbook, but betly operates the sportsbook at the Southland Casino in West Memphis, Arkansas. Betly isn’t a major player, but they’re trying to find some smaller markets to have more of an impact. Arkansas is a good place for them to try and establish their brand.
For those in Louisiana, Mississippi is the best option for you. The Gulf Coast area is a popular vacation destination and there are other sportsbook properties around the state that you can check out. This is also a retail-only state, though you can use your mobile device to place bets if you are on the premises at some places.
Penn National properties have rebranded their sportsbooks under the Barstool name. There are several of these in Mississippi. You will start to see a lot more of the Barstool name, as they are backed by significant investment from several different groups. It wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Barstool in Louisiana, particularly with a presence in that part of the country already.
Beau Rivage and Gold Strike are the two properties in Mississippi that BetMGM services. MGM does not have a physical presence in Louisiana, but depending on how the rules and regulations are set up, they could be a factor.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Scarlett Pearl Casino and Hotel down on the Gulf Coast is the lone DraftKings presence in the state, but we know what kind of presence that name has around the country. It would be a stunner if DraftKings is not part of legal sports betting in Louisiana.
FanDuel Sportsbook doesn’t have a huge presence in Mississippi either, but both DraftKings and FanDuel are tuned towards the mobile and online side of things. They don’t have existing brick-and-mortar structures like Penn National, MGM, Caesars (William Hill), or some of the others.
Like DraftKings, we would expect FanDuel to be a major player in Louisiana sports betting.
William Hill will be a big part of Louisiana in all likelihood because William Hill is a big part of just about every US state with legal betting. William Hill operates the majority of sportsbooks in Mississippi and that influence and name value should allow the elder statesmen of the group to have a strong say in Louisiana.
We’re all waiting on pins and needles to see how the infrastructure is set up for Louisiana sports betting. For now, the answer to how to bet on sports in Louisiana is to leave the state, but it won’t be that way for long.