Louisiana sports betting begins; 1st bets at tribal casino

MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — Legalized sports betting has started in Louisiana with the first wagering parlor opened at a tribal casino, as the state readies for its largest gambling expansion in decades.

The Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville partnered with Betfred Sports to open The Draft Room, a sports book featuring theater seating, a custom video wall, betting counters and kiosks, the News-Star reported.

“Our sports bar that connects with The Draft Room has been open since April, and our guests have been calling every day to ask when the sports book is opening,” Paragon Casino General Manager Marshall Sampson Sr. told the newspaper.

Retired New Orleans Saints fan favorite Joe Horn made the first official bet Wednesday — a long-odds seven-team parlay in which he has to pick all seven winners to cash in.

“I bet a little money to win a lot,” Horn said.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana lawmakers agreed to legalize sports betting last year in parishes where voters authorized it. Lawmakers wrote the regulations and taxing rules earlier this year. Voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes agreed to allow the wagering in their communities.

Paragon is operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and not regulated by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. But the News-Star reports that Paragon needed legalization of sports betting before it could open its sports book.

Written by  Associated Press

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