Marksville-based Paragon Casino is set to become the first venue in the state of Louisiana to accept sports bets as of October 6th. In a statement released yesterday, the casino confirmed that sports betting services will become available to the public at 3:00 PM on Wednesday.
The sportsbook of the casino, called “The Draft Room”, is to be operated in collaboration with Betfred Sports. The Draft Room will offer a wall of video screens, theater seating, betting kiosks and counters, as well as a restaurant, a bar and 112 TVs. In addition, the facility will be able to host private gatherings in the three VIP “fan caves”.
As revealed by Marchal Pierite, the Chairman of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe that owns and operates the Paracon Casino, the Draft Room is set to provide a first-class gambling service to all residents and visitors of Central Louisiana. The resort offers a gaming floor, situated on 64,000 square feet, 1,000 slot machines, as well as 500 hotel rooms for its guests. As of today, it will also start offering sports betting to its visitors.
Many other casinos across the state are expected to follow suit and start offering sports betting soon. Unlike the Paragon Casino, which is hosted on tribal land is subject to different procedures, they need to wait for their operations to be first approved by the Louisiana State Police.
Other Louisiana Casinos Waiting for Operating License Approval to Start Accepting Sports Bets
As mentioned above, The Paragon Casino will start accepting sports bets before other casino venues in the state, which are not located on tribal land. Reportedly, they will have to wait until mid-October in order to get their temporary sports betting licenses but the local authorities are still expected to give more clarity on the matter.
Wade Duty, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Casino Association (LCA), confirmed that the officers from the Gaming Enforcement Division of the State Police have been assigned other duties to assist with the state’s recovery from Hurricane Ida and are now getting back to their regular tasks, which also include the background checks on the operators that have applied for sports betting permits.
According to media reports, 20 casino and racetrack facilities across the 55 parishes of Louisiana that approved sports betting are set to receive operating permits before they start accepting sports bets. The Louisiana Lottery will also be granted a license to offer sports betting at special bar- and restaurant-based kiosks. Apart from that, the Louisiana Lottery is also expected to start offering online and mobile sports betting services but customers willing to use the online gambling platforms and applications will be required to be located in one of the parishes that legalized online sports betting.
Under the provisions of the law signed by Governor Edwards in June 2021, a 10% state tax will apply on all on-premise bets, while a 15% tax will apply on all online bets in the state. A separate piece of legislation makes sure that the tax revenue raised from sports betting in Louisiana will redirect the money to various problem gambling-recovery programs, the state’s Early Childhood Education Fund, and other projects in favor of local residents and communities.