Louisiana is the latest state to see sports betting go live following the opening of a Betfred-branded sportsbook at the Paragon Casino Resort on Wednesday.
This comes after Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards signed legislation legalizing sports betting into law on 23 June.
Betfred and Tunica-Biloxi Tribe launch sports betting
On Tuesday, Betfred announced that it would be opening a land-based sportsbook at the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe-owned Paragon Casino in Marksville, on Wednesday. The facility began taking sports bets at 3 pm CT on Wednesday.
“As a native Louisianan and Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, I am thrilled to help usher in sports betting to our state,” said Chairman Marshall Pierite. “This partnership with Betfred Sports promises continued success for Paragon as we continue our mission to provide a first-class gaming destination and vacation experience to our neighbors and guests coming to Central Louisiana.”
Tribal casinos launch before commercial
As the Paragon Casino is located on tribal land, it does not need state regulatory approval from Louisiana’s regulator.
This means that tribal casinos can launch sports betting, while commercial casinos are waiting for Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns to sign off on their licenses.
Louisiana regulators missed the 1 October launch date for commercial sports betting mainly due to challenges caused by Hurricane Ida. The Louisiana State Police troopers, who were assigned to review sports betting licensees, were redirected to tackle challenges caused by the hurricane.
Under the state legislation, a license will be allocated to each of the state’s 20 casinos and racinos, including up to two online betting skins.
Betfred’s partnership with the tribe
According to the announcement, Betfred and Paragon Casino teamed up to open The Draft Room. a new “Las Vegas-style sportsbook.”
The new facility features traditional theater seating, a custom video wall, betting counters and kiosks. The Draft Room also houses a restaurant and bar as well as multiple seating options, and 112 TVs surrounded by table and bar seating. The facility also has three VIP fan caves for private gatherings.
General Manager of Paragon Casino Resort, Marshall Sampson, Sr., said: “Our partnership with Betfred Sports marks a new chapter for Paragon – which has always been a source of pride for Marksville and the people of Louisiana. With this new partnership, I hope visitors from across the region will have the chance to experience it for themselves. Together, we are offering a first-class sports betting platform and venue that will make Paragon Casino Resort the place to bet and watch games in Louisiana.”
Mark Stebbings, Betfred Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “Louisiana is an exciting opportunity for Betfred Sports to continue its expansion in the US after successful launches in Iowa, Colorado and Pennsylvania. We look forward to utilizing our 50 years of bookmaking experience with our fantastic partner, Paragon Casino Resort, to bring the best sports betting experience to bettors in the state.”
Betfred in the US
Betfred’s first US sportsbook went live on 27 January 2021 in the form of a land-based sportsbook at the Grand Falls Casino in the state of Iowa.
Since then, the operator has been hard at work to expand its footprint in the US market.
At the time of writing, Betfred is live in Colorado, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. In its announcement, Betfred revealed it is waiting for regulatory approval in Arizona, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington.
Sports betting in Louisiana
Louisiana voters in 55 of 64 parishes legalized mobile and retail sports betting during the November 2020 election.
Then in June 2021, lawmakers approved legislation outlining the framework for sports betting as well as the taxation system.
Governor John Bell Edwards then went on to sign the legislation into law on 23 June.
In August, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) passed a set of emergency sports betting rules.