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Paragon Casino officially launches sports betting

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 9:26 PM CDT
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MARKSVILLE, La. (WAFB) - Paragon Casino Resort, in partnership with Betfred Sports, launched Louisiana’s first sports betting operation Wednesday, Oct. 6.

New Orleans Saints Legend Joe Horn placed the ceremonial first bet. The bet was a 7-team parlay.

“I said three months ago, when it happens, give me a call, and I’ll be there waiting, so I’m happy to be here, with everyone,” Horn said. “I’m just happy to be here. I can’t wait to socialize with my people and wait for this paper to come in brother.”

“The Draft Room” inside the Paragon features traditional theater seating, a custom video wall, betting counters and kiosks.

James Craig, III, from Paragon Casino Resort, said this is a historic moment for the state.

“This is going to affect communities across the board in the state of Louisiana, and hopefully it reaches more people outside the state of Louisiana,” Craig said.

As a part of the state’s deal to legalize sports betting, the revenue generated will go towards helping manage the state’s budget, assist local governments, and fund early childhood education.

“Well, I think it’s a shot in the arm, no pun intended, that we really need,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.

Nungesser was the second person to place a bet and explained how this could help the state rebound after a year riddled by COVID.

“Just another tool in our toolbox to promote Louisiana and draw people here, and when people come here to gamble, they usually come here with their pockets full, and that’s a good thing,” Nungesser said.

Ronnie Johns from the Gaming Control Board told WAFB that Hurricane Ida delayed the sports betting rollout for the state’s other casinos by a couple of weeks. He wouldn’t confirm a timeline but said we could expect something to happen ‘very soon’.

Those interested in placing bets will have to be 21 or older. No bets can be placed on high school or youth sports events. Athletes, coaches, and referees can’t bet on a sports event in which they are involved. People who live in parishes that did not approve sports betting can place wagers if they head to a parish where sports betting was legalized.

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