Harrah’s New Orleans Opens Caesars Sportsbook, Largest Poker Room in Louisiana
Harrah’s New Orleans recently unveiled its two newest amenities — a 5,700-square-foot Caesars Sportsbook and 5,000-square-foot World Series of Poker (WSOP) Room.
Caesars Sportsbook and WSOP are two of parent company Caesars Entertainment’s most recognizable brands in the US gaming industry. Harrah’s New Orleans, one of Caesars’ most important regional casinos, now features the sports betting and poker icons in a predominant setting.
The sportsbook and 20-table poker room have opened adjacent to each other on the main casino floor. The facilities feature white marble columns and gold accents. The Caesars Sportsbook has four betting windows, 12 self-service betting kiosks, and a 147-foot video wall with state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities.
The projects are part of Harrah’s New Orleans’ $325 million renovation and expansion pledge to the state of Louisiana in exchange for a 30-year extension of its license.
Harrah’s New Orleans is the only casino with slot machines and table games in the Big Easy. It’s also the only casino in the state built on land, as Louisiana’s 15 other casinos are riverboats. Louisiana is also home to four racinos that offer slots only.
Atypical First Bets
More than 30 states today allow sports betting. In the majority of the states that have moved to permit such gambling, the first bet is traditionally a moderate wager placed by a government official such as a governor or a sports icon. But at the Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s New Orleans, the Big Easy went big.
Pro Football Hall of Famer and former New Orleans Saints player Rickey Jackson wagered the official first bet at the Harrah’s Caesars Sportsbook — a $1,000 bet on the Saints to win the Super Bowl at 40/1 odds.
If the Saints win Super Bowl LVII, Jackson would net $40,000. The NFL legend says the winnings would go to the United Negro College Fund. While Jackson’s bet certainly wasn’t small, all the talk was about the next wager.
Caesars said one of its best Harrah’s New Orleans regulars who was invited to the Caesars Sportsbook/WSOP opening ceremony dropped $200,000 on a sports bet after Jackson. The sportsbook did not reveal the bet’s specifics.
Bossier City Opening
Caesars Entertainment has been busy in Louisiana, as the casino operator also recently opened a Caesars Sportsbook at Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino. The book at the riverboat spans 6,900 square feet featuring three betting windows, 15 kiosks, and more than 94 televisions.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the state’s authorization of sports betting into law in July 2021. Gross gaming income from retail sports gambling is subjected to a 10% state tax. Mobile books will pay a higher 15% tax.
Land-based casinos are required to pay a $250,000 sports betting application fee and another $500,000 upon receipt of their five-year privilege. Online platforms are subjected to a $100,000 application fee and a $250,000 five-year license upon approval.
The law permits up to 20 sportsbook licenses. Fourteen have been said for. The current online operator list includes Barstool, BetRivers, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBet.
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