Legal sports betting opens in New Orleans with Bobby Hebert’s wager on Saints

Former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert examines his ticket after placing the first legal sports...
Former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert examines his ticket after placing the first legal sports wager in a New Orleans casino in the Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah's on Sunday (Oct. 31).(Caesars Sportsbook)
Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2021 at 11:47 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The era of legal sports betting in New Orleans opened when the “Cajun Cannon” Bobby Hebert fired off an $1100 wager that his former team the Saints would cover a 4 1/2-point spread over the favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers later Sunday (Oct. 31) at the Caesars Superdome.

“It’s just great to be part of this,” Hebert said, after placing the ceremonial first bet at 7:04 a.m. in Caesars Sportsbook at the Harrah’s New Orleans casino. “I think for sure the Saints are going to cover, but we need a win.”

Voters in 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes approved sports betting last November, but the measure wasn’t signed into law until June. Hurricane Ida further delayed the Louisiana State Police from reviewing casino applications. But last Friday, four casinos received approval to start taking sports wagers as soon as their systems were ready.

The Caesars Sportsbook in New Orleans made sure it was at the front of the line. The same parent company also opened a sportsbook within the same hour at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City. The Boomtown Casino in Harvey and L’Auberge Baton Rouge also received approval and licenses and plan to open their sports books Monday at 4 p.m.

In addition, the Paragon Casino in Marksville has been taking sports bets since Oct. 6. That property is owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and is not directly regulated by the state, but by tribal officials and the federal government.

Should the underdog Saints cover the point spread against the reigning Super Bowl champions, Hebert’s ticket would win $1000 (the total payout would be $2055.56 after the casino extracts its bookmaking fee). Win or lose, that payout amount is being donated by Hebert and Caesars Sportsbook to the Second Harvest food bank.

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