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DraftKings Set To Launch New Retail Sportsbook At Louisiana’s Golden Nugget Casino Lake Charles

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • The Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana will launch retail sports betting at 2 PM local time on November 10.
  • The property is featuring a DraftKings operated sportsbook in a temporary location inside the Blue Martini bar.
  • A permanent retail sports betting facility is slated to open in Summer 2022.

Golden Nugget Casino Lake Charles and DraftKings have jointly announced the launch of a new retail sportsbook at the Louisiana property set to open on November 10, 2021 at 2 PM Central Standard Time. It is DraftKings’ first presence in Louisiana, a state which began retail sports betting in early October. Mobile betting is also forthcoming though Louisiana appears to be ‘making it up as they go along’. The last ‘target date’ for mobile sports betting is early 2022 assuming that the state doesn’t find a way to screw it up. Actually, they’re not off to a good start–more about that in a moment.

For now, the DraftKings sportsbook will be in a temporary location in the Blue Martini bar. Even in these temporary digs, the press release boasted that it will be the ‘largest in Lake Charles’. That isn’t too difficult since there are currently just two casinos operating in Lake Charles–the Golden Nugget and L’Auberge Lake Charles (a Penn National owned property that will also launch retail sports betting on Wednesday). Caesars Entertainment operates the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake Charles but it is closed for remodeling until Spring 2022. The Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino is located in Vinton, LA–approximately 30 minutes west of Lake Charles–and they’ve got a FanDuel operated retail sportsbook listed as ‘coming soon’. Since L’Auberge Lake Charles is operating their sportsbook in a temporary location (formerly the Poker Room and Stadium Games Area) with no live ticket writers for now, having the ‘largest sportsbook in Lake Charles’ isn’t much of a trick.

In the temporary location, the DraftKings at the Golden Nugget will have has six ticket cages with live writers along with 30 self service kiosks spread throughout the property. A permanent sportsbook is in the planning stages and will be a 10,000 square foot state of the art retail betting facility and lounge with 300 seats and all of the usual amenities–odds boards, big screen televisions, etc. Note that DraftKings bought the Golden Nugget’s online gaming and sports betting subsidiary–Golden Nugget Online Gaming–earlier this year.

The press release gave the regular hours of operation as Monday – Friday 10am – 11pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am – midnight. It also said that ‘Once regulatory and licensure approvals are received, customers will be able to place bets 24/7 on kiosks throughout the casino floor’. My understanding is that Louisiana gaming regulators did ‘final inspections’ on Monday and that would suggest that kiosks should be available 24/7 at launch. Then again, that would likely make too much sense.

Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America, had these comments about the launch of the retail sportsbook at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles:

“Since launching daily fantasy sports in Louisiana, we have been eager to introduce our fans here to the DraftKings Sportsbook experience, which will provide customers with a new level of engagement with several of America’s most popular leagues overlapping across the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA football. Joining forces with Golden Nugget and their renowned casino brand, we look forward to providing the fervent fan base in the Bayou State with a premier retail sportsbook experience.”

Gerry Del Prete, Senior Vice President of Gaming for Fertitta Entertainment, says that DraftKings will provide customers with a first rate sports betting experience:

“Our team has worked diligently alongside state legislators to make the sportsbook experience a reality for Louisiana patrons. Coupling the Golden Nugget’s dynamic gaming network with DraftKings innovative tech and trading, makes for an unmatched partnership. We are thrilled to offer our combined customer base an unparalleled experience at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles.”

The press release indicated that the DraftKings mobile app will launch ‘at a later date’. Ronnie Johns, chairman of Louisiana’s Gaming Control Board, has suggested that mobile betting won’t be available until early 2022. Since that state’s gaming regulators don’t instill me with a lot of confidence I wouldn’t expect to see mobile betting in Louisiana until Summer 2022. It’s already something of a mess. Sports betting was put to a referendum on a Parish by Parish basis (that’s Louisiana’s version of counties) and 55 of 64 of them voted to approve it. You can probably already see where this is going–it looks like mobile betting will only be available in these 55 Parishes. The geofencing technology definitely exists to make this idiotic arrangement work but it means that setting up mobile betting will be a bigger pain in the ass than it would be otherwise.

Lake Charles is 150 miles east of Houston, Texas (roughly 2 and a half hours via 1-10 East) and just over 200 miles west of New Orleans (or just over 3 hours). In addition to the two sportsbooks at the Lake Charles properties there are now at least three other retail betting locations in the state–there’s a Betfred Sports at the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville and Caesars Sportsbook locations at Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino.

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