Ahead of Louisiana’s 2019 sports betting push, two of the state’s pro sports teams have linked up with a casino in the state.
On Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans announced a deal with Harrah’s New Orleans.
Dennis Lauscha, president of both franchises, joined Caesars Entertainment Chief Experience Officer, Michael Marino and Harrah’s New Orleans Assistant General Manager, Kathryn Jenkins to make the announcement.
Harrah’s New Orleans is designated as the “official casino partner” of the Saints, while there’s no “official” label on the Pelicans arrangement. The Pelicans want additional partners.
The “multi-year” partnership kicks off at the start of 2019, according to a presser.
“By doubling down on the Saints, Harrah’s will be able to develop customized experiences, in-game features, a Saints branded area on property and be designated as an official post-game destination,” said the announcement.
“We are proud to align ourselves with a brand such as Harrah’s New Orleans Casino that is an industry leader not only nationally but on a local level as well,” said Lauscha. “Located in the Heart of Downtown New Orleans, Harrah’s vision for development and commitment to the city mirror that of the Saints and Pelicans and we could not be happier about this partnership.”
Louisiana sports betting market
Already with a $2.5 billion casino gambling market, Louisiana is poised to benefit greatly from legal and regulated sports wagering.
The state could see $6.2 billion in annual handle under a model that allows both retail and online/mobile sports wagering. Under that scenario, which also assumes a base tax rate of 10%, sports wagering could add nearly $400 million to the state’s existing casino gambling market.
Harrah’s New Orleans hopes that becoming the “game day headquarters” for the two local teams will help it capture as much market share as possible.
Louisiana policymakers held a hearing in October on regulating sports wagering.
“It’s important to start the discussion ahead of the session,” said Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Jones. “The more information we can get into the record and talk about in advance is good from a public policy standpoint.”
A slideshow presentation at the hearing had lower expectations for the state’s sports betting market. It was projected that a mature and regulated Louisiana sports betting market would generate between $245 million and $288 million in annual revenue.
Caesars inking deals across country
In an effort to keep pace with its rivals, most notably MGM Resorts, Caesars has been forging alliances with sports teams in emerging markets.
“This announcement, along with our previous announced partnerships with the Las Vegas Raiders, the Baltimore Ravens, the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and the New Jersey Devils of the NHL, demonstrates Caesars’ strong commitment to the professional sports fan experience” said Marino.
Caesars will have its work cut out for it, as MGM has secured a handful of league-level deals.