When two casinos in Lake Charles, Louisiana finally opened their retail sportsbooks, southeast Texas residents benefitted with access to new sports betting options a short drive over the state line.
Following final inspections from Louisiana regulators, both the L’Auberge Casino Resort and Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel and Casino opened their sportsbooks on Nov. 10. Situated in southwestern Louisiana, Lake Charles is just over a half-hour drive from the Texas border.
While Texans currently await the passage of legislation allowing Texas online sports betting, these Louisiana casinos offer a reasonable alternative for east Texans.
New Louisiana kiosks only, live sportsbooks coming
Sports betting first became legal in the majority of Louisiana parishes last year, including the Calcasieu Parish where Lake Charles is the seat. Following several months’ work to establish rules, the two Lake Charles casinos received temporary licenses to begin accepting sports wagers.
According to the Beaumont Enterprise, the L’Auberge Casino Resort has converted its poker room into a temporary sportsbook. The area presently contains 40 kiosks where bettors can place wagers. The casino eventually plans to open live betting stations.
Penn National Gaming owns L’Auberge Casino Resort. The company picked up the property as part of its Pinnacle Entertainment acquisition in 2017. Thus when the temporary sportsbook eventually becomes permanent it will be branded as a Barstool Sportsbook. Penn National currently offers an online platform called Bet Builder where L’Auberge Casino patrons can check betting lines before placing their wagers.
Meanwhile, the sportsbook at Golden Nugget Lake Charles similarly launched with 30 kiosks positioned around the gaming floor. There, too, plans are underway to build a permanent, 10,000 square-foot sportsbook and lounge. The new sportsbook is due to open by the middle of next year.
DraftKings serves as the operator of the sportsbook at the Golden Nugget. Online sports betting has yet to go live in the state. However, bettors can check lines at the DraftKings site before placing their wagers at the Golden Nugget.
Louisiana sports betting era is starting strong
After Louisiana legalized sports betting last year, the first retail sportsbook in the state opened at Paragon Casino in Marksville, LA last month.
Voters in 55 of 64 Louisiana parishes approved legal sports betting in their parishes in a Nov. 2020 referendum.
Eventually, Louisiana should have numerous online sports betting apps up and running throughout most of the state. The Louisiana Lottery will also open hundreds of self-service sports betting kiosks at bars, restaurants, and truck stops throughout Louisiana.
These locations will provide more options along the border for Texas sports bettors willing to take a road trip.
Texas sports betting is still a distant prospect
Texans wishing to bet on sports welcome new and legal options, even those requiring travel out of state. The state’s lawmakers considered sports betting legislation this year and many Texans have shown support. However, the Lone Star State appears far from passing the needed constitutional amendment to make sports betting legal.
One bill proposed earlier this year would have authorized both retail and online sports betting in the state. The bill had the backing of several Texas professional sports franchises but could not muster enough support to gain traction either in the House or the Senate.
Since the Texas legislature only meets during odd-numbered years, it means that no further discussion on sports betting can happen until 2023 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted earlier this year by the University of Houston indicated a majority of Texans favor legalizing various forms of gambling, including sports betting, to boost revenue for the state.