And then there were 10.
With the December 1 opening of the Rez Sportsbook at the Coushatta Casino Resort, Louisiana now has ten sportsbooks. And that also makes two tribal casinos with sportsbooks, the other being Paragon Casino Resort. The rest are retail sportsbooks.
Sports betting fans will find the Rez in the property’s former Gumbeaux’s Sports Bar next to the south entrance and can wager there daily from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Collegiate as well as professional sports are in the betting mix — and that could make some LSU and New Orleans Saints fans happy.
The Rez offers 18 self-service kiosks and staffed cage windows.
Flute music and football champions
It seems pretty fitting that some of the inaugural wagers were placed by three former NFL stars since football is the most popular sports betting game in the United States, according to sportsecyclopedia.com.
First, though, the Coushatta Tribe Council members joined the casino’s management at the opening ceremony. Following tribal tradition, tribe member Leland Thompson played a blessing song on the flute. Then, Coushatta chairman Jonathon Cernek used a tomahawk to cut the opening day ribbon rather than the regular scissors.
Cernek made the first wager. Then three Super Bowl champs — former New Orleans Saint Owen Daniels, former Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson, and former Houston Texan Owen Daniels — wagered for their chosen charities and signed some autographs for fans.
“To be able to introduce this during my chairmanship is such a wonderful honor. It is an honor to present our culture here at The Rez Sportsbook. It’s an honor to represent our members,” Cernek said.
“This is just the beginning.”
He commented that the addition of sports betting made it possible for his casino to,
“get a whole new client, a whole new fan….”
Coushatta’s Director of Marketing, Bobby Thornton, chimed in on the celebratory optimism, commenting, “I don’t see how this will not be a home run for us.”
Sports betting: A record-breaking industry
Sports betting is looking to become a real boon for any state that offers it. In October, Nevada scored a first with a record $1.1 billion in sportsbook bets, according to espn.com. That same month, New Jersey sports bettors placed wagers totaling more than $1.3 billion, breaking the state’s previous record. (Unlike Louisiana, Nevada and New Jersey currently have online sports betting; Louisiana looks likely to have it in 2022.)
Louisianasharp.com has projected up to $219 million in sportsbook revenue per year for the Pelican State.
Louisiana joined the lineup of states with sports betting in October, only on the retail and tribal levels. Paragon Casino Resort led the way like a tribal casino, and it doesn’t fall under state regulatory control. Now, with state police having restarted the licensing process after being needed elsewhere post-Hurricane Ida, eight retail casinos currently offer the principal activity:
- Boomtown Casino and Hotel, New Orleans
- Golden Nugget, Lake Charles
- Harrah’s New Orleans
- Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino
- L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge
- L’Auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles
- Margaritaville Resort Casino, Bossier City
- Boomtown Casino & Hotel, Bossier City
At the most recent Louisiana Gaming Control Board regular meeting, Major Chuck McNeal of the Gaming Enforcement Division said seven more applications for retail sportsbooks are waiting for approval, and five other casinos are eligible to submit applications.