First legal sports bet placed in Louisiana

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 9:57 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s a day etched into Louisiana’s history. The first ever legal sports bet in the state was placed Wednesday afternoon by none other than Saints Hall of Famer Joe Horn. It signaled the start of the games at Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville.

“To see that this is new opening up here, first class obviously as everyone can see, I’m excited to be here,” Horn said. “When they called me, I told them three months ago, ‘When it happens, give me a call. I’ll be there.’”

Legislation was passed last session, projecting the launch of sports betting at state-owned casinos would be towards the beginning of 2022.

“It’s going to be a lot sooner than that. We’re very, very close,” said Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns. “I’m not going to step out and give you a target date because I don’t want there to be false expectations, but I will share with you that I feel like we’re still way ahead of our original projections.”

With the launch of sports betting in casinos across the state, many are ready to get the ball rolling in Southwest Louisiana.

“Vegas, it’s been around for how long?” said gambler Michael Rennie. “I think it’s just a win win. If you’re going to have the casino, you’re gonna have slots, you’re gonna have poker, you might as well do the betting.”

“When you sports gamble, you kinda know the players and know the teams. You don’t know the machines,” said gambler Prince Anderson.

Coushatta Casino Resort says online it’s now hiring for sportsbook ticket writers, leaving gamblers brainstorming on how they will place their bets when it’s time.

“I’m new to the sports betting thing, so I know I can bet against the Detroit Lions because they lose every week, so I’m going to proudly start doing that and bet on the Buccaneers,” Rennie said.

L’Auberge and Golden Nugget have not provided a projected timeline for the launch of their sportsbooks.

Coushatta says it plans to open its sportsbook in the fall of this year.

The Horseshoe Casino, projected to open next year, will have a Caeser’s Sportsbook location.

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