By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports
Louisiana has taken its fair share of heat for being behind the times in several areas.
When it comes to sports betting, the state is well ahead of the game.
Sports betting was approved in 55 of 64 parishes. In October, casinos welcomed in-house wagering. Today, Louisiana will debut mobile/online wagering. Less than 20 states allow this level of betting opportunity.
“Everyone likes everything at their fingers. People don’t want to have to drive and park to gamble. They want to be able to fit it into their everyday lives,” said Ben Mintz, who spent more than four years as a radio host in this area. “No one wants to be inconvenienced. (The mobile element) is the key to the entire future of sports betting. Props to Louisiana for finally getting it right. It may have taken a while, but they got it done.
Shreveport’s Jimmy Dicken loves the Chicago Bears and the Fighting Irish from the University of Notre Dame. Therefore, he’s excited to have the opportunity to bet against both.
You read that right.
“I never bet on the Bears. I always bet against the Bears,” Dicken said. “Whoever the Bears are playing, I take the opponent on the money line.”
At 25 to 50 bucks a pop, Dicken was pretty successful during this NFL season as the Bears posted a 6-11 mark.
The convenience of mobile betting is a huge draw for Dicken.
“The brick and mortar sports books offer a great experience,” he said. “With mobile, you can bet from your coach. So, Louisiana has the best of both worlds.
“The revenue generation will be a boon for everyone – the politicians aside.”
The tax proceeds from sports betting will benefit early childhood education (20 percent), the participating parishes (10 percent), the Behavioral Health and Wellness Fund (1 percent), the Louisiana State Racing Commission (1 percent) and the General Fund (68 percent).
At least five companies will offer mobile apps upon Friday morning’s launch. Most offer significant bonuses for new accounts, including Barstool’s app.
If you sign up for Barstool and make one $20-plus wager on either NFL conference championship games this weekend, you’ll earn $100 if Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow collects at least one passing yard against Kansas City on Sunday.
Mintz, who spent years championing sports wagering, has been at Barstool for more than a year.
“We’re a unique brand,” Mintz said. “You get to interact with us. The success of the sports betting app may define my tenure at Barstool. (CEO) Dave Portnoy has given me a lot of freedom.”
Many in the state have used illegal shops to make sports bets. The addition of sports betting in the state, and particularly the mobile/online component, will present the customer with better prices. Bettors won’t see much of a difference in typical bets like sides and totals (the juice is generally 10 cents on the dollar). However, the public can expect to see a much better variety of betting options and prices on props and futures.
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