Two Caesars properties in Louisiana—Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino—accepted their first in-person sports bets yesterday (31 October), making them the first commercial casinos in the state to do so.
The launch follows Betfred launching sports betting last month at the Paragon Casino Resort, which was permitted to launch earlier as it is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe .
“Caesars is proud of our commitment to Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast region,” said Dan Real, regional president, Caesars Entertainment. “Today was historic for us as a company and we’re excited to open our new Caesars Sportsbook locations at Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City to honor the legacy these properties hold in the region. We can’t wait to introduce all that sports betting has to offer to sports fans while sharing our emphasis on responsible gaming.”
Caesars commemorated the launch with two simultaneous first bet events at the retail sportsbooks. Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert placed the first bet at Harrah’s, with the proceeds benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank. In Bossier City, Mayor Tommy Chandler cut the ribbon to celebrate the launch.
“We are excited to bring sports betting to our valued customers in Louisiana,” said Eric Hession, co-president of Caesars Digital. “The launch of our sportsbooks at Harrah’s and Horseshoe is just the beginning. Once mobile sports betting is live, we look forward to serving sports fans on every platform and offering all of our customers unforgettable experiences with Caesars Rewards.”
Though Caesars awaits regulatory approval to launch mobile sports betting, the company’s sportsbook app is already available for Louisiana bettors.
On the heels of these launches, Caesars plans to renovate both sportsbooks in 2022. This is part of the company’s larger plan to convert Harrah’s New Orleans into Caesars New Orleans and Isle of Capri Lake Charles into Horseshoe Lake Charles. Horseshoe Casino Lake Charles will reopen post-renovation with a Caesars Sportsbook as well.
Sports betting was legalized within Louisiana following a parish-by-parish referendum that took place in 2020. The market launch was delayed until 2021, however, due to Louisiana only permitting the passing of a new tax in an odd-numbered year, meaning the state had to wait to pass laws taxing the vertical.
These laws were eventually signed into law in June, setting the launch in motion.
Sports betting is only permitted in parishes that approved the vertical in the referendum.