BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City could start taking sports wagers as soon as Sunday, now that it is among the first four state-regulated casinos in Louisiana to be issued a sports betting license.
According to Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns, Horseshoe, Harrah’s in New Orleans, Boomtown Casino in Harvey, and L’Auberge Baton Rouge were issued licenses Friday. The licenses are effective at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, October 31.
“This is a big day for us,” said Johns who anticipates significant interest statewide when the first wagers are placed on Sunday.
The four licenses are the first of 13 entities statewide that have applied so far. In order to be licensed, the properties have to go through compliance checks and regulations by the Louisiana State Police, which then has to recommend they be licensed to the state gaming control board. Johns says he was given authority by the LGCB to sign off on the licenses a few months ago and did so Friday morning with the first four to be issued in the state.
Johns expects more licenses to be issued in the next week or two as state police finalize their work.
All 20 of the state’s casinos and racetracks, including the remaining four in Shreveport-Bossier, are expected to eventually get authorization to begin taking sports wagers because they have already met the requirements for suitability and background checks. Those that do not will take longer to be verified through the investigative and regulatory process.
Johns says the remaining seven of the state’s 20 casinos and racetracks have all indicated they will apply before the December 31 deadline to do so.
The Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, which is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and is not regulated by the state, began taking spots wagers on October 6.
The Horseshoe, owned by Caesars Entertainment, has been heavily promoting the arrival of Caesars Sportsbook, with billboards and ads inside and outside the Bossier City property. But for now, Johns says sports betting in Louisiana will be limited to state-regulated casinos.
“We are still going through a very comprehensive process on mobile sports betting. We’re probably looking at another couple of months before we can get to that level.”
That process includes a full vetting of betting websites and apps and ensuring people who live in any of the nine parishes that did not approve sports betting in last year’s election and are not able to place bets using mobile devices.