Sources Expect Louisiana to Roll Out Mobile Sports Betting Ahead of NFL Conference Championships

  • Multiple sources, including a FOX 8 exec, are saying “all signs” point toward a Friday launch
  • While Louisiana allows for 40 online sportsbooks, sources expect only a few to launch this week
  • WynnBET opened its Louisiana sportsbook for deposits and pre-registration on Tuesday
  • Upon launch, Louisiana’s mobile sports betting market will be the first in its region
Fireworks in the shape of Louisiana
As a massive weekend in the NFL looms, multiple sources are saying Louisiana’s digital sports betting market is likely to launch in time for bettors to wager on the games. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Update January 27, 2022: The Louisiana Gaming Control Board has now officially confirmed the betting market will go live on Friday at 8am. BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings have all released statements confirming they will take part in the first wave of launches.

LGCB tipped to award temporary licenses

A little over two months since retail sports betting launched in Louisiana, multiple sources are expecting the mobile form to roll out ahead of this weekend’s NFL conference championships.

Sportshandle cites multiple sources as “hearing” the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) will award approved operators temporary digital sports betting licenses ahead of the market’s expected launch on Friday.

“all signs” are pointing to Friday being the day

Earlier this week, FOX 8 sports managing editor and reporter Garland Gillen took to Twitter to tell Louisiana sports bettors “all signs” are pointing to Friday being the day:

Regulatory writer and editor at XLMedia Robert Linnehan backed this up, sharing news of a press release scheduled to go out at 9am Wednesday:

If it’s good Friday news for Louisiana’s digital bettors, they’ll be able to wager on NFL Sunday’s games, where last round’s victorious underdogs, the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, take on the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams, respectively, in the NFL conference championships.

WynnBET out of the blocks

Louisiana’s retail sports betting launched on October 31, with the law allowing for up to 20 licenses to be issued, one apiece for the 20 state-regulated casinos or racinos. For digital, Louisiana’s legal framework allows for as many as 40 online sportsbooks, with each of the 20 license holders permitted two skins. The Louisiana Lottery will also get a mobile license, which allows it to operate kiosks in bars and restaurants.

sources believe only a few operators will get the LGCB’s nod to launch Friday

Sportshandle’s sources believe only a few operators will get the LGCB’s nod to launch Friday.

One of those is WynnBET, who took to Twitter with its beaming pitchman Shaquille O’Neal to announce its sportsbook was open for pre-registration and deposits:

According to a WynnBet press release on Tuesday, the former NBA and LSU star will lead its marketing drive in Lousiana. The sportsbook is launching with a “Bet $10, Win $250” promotion, where bettors get $250 in free wagers when they place their first $10 bet.

While WynnBet’s imminent Louisiana debut is looking all peachy, it’s a different story for the brand under the marketing gloss. On Sunday, the New York Post cited sources as saying WynnBET’s parent brand, Wynn Interactive, had slashed the asking price of its business from $3bn to $500m. “Painful losses from stiff taxes and costly promotions needed to lure customers” was the reason given as the catalyst for the deep discount. Penn Interactive and Fanatics are said to be the most logical companies to want to buy Wynn Interactive.

Wynn Interactive President Ian Williams said: “WynnBET’s launch in Louisiana is just the beginning of an exciting few months for our company as we significantly increase our footprint during the first quarter of 2022.”

Region’s first mover

Once Louisiana’s mobile sports betting launches, it will be the first to full legal market in the southeastern region of the US.

While eastern neighbor Mississippi launched retail sports betting just months after the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018, its lawmakers are still pushing legislation that would expand digital sports betting beyond the current two geofenced MGM Resorts properties.

Digital sports betting isn’t legal across Louisiana’s state lines in neighboring Arkansas, nor in Texas, which has no regulated sports betting market in any form.