NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) Friday morning, January 28, mobile sports gaming opened for the first time in Louisiana. For sports fans who have been waiting for an opportunity to bet, the new access allows for them to bet from home while also helping the state’s coffers.

“I think this was a long time overdue,” sports fan Tony Jacketti told WGNO News from his home in Mandeville.

Voters in 55 parishes approved sports betting in 2020. Last year, casinos began accepting sports bets inside their doors. Now those bets can be made online and by using mobile apps.

The state taxes casinos 10% of their brick and mortar sports gaming and 15% of their mobile take. The money is dedicated to multiple expenses including education and the state’s general fund.

“Sports betting has been happening since I was a kid here in Louisiana,” Samir Mowad told WGNO News.

Mowad is the general manager of Harrah’s New Orleans. He says legalizing sports gaming and allowing mobile bets takes bookies and offshore websites out of the mix.

Harrah’s parent company is Caesars, the same company that holds the naming rights to the Superdome. The Caesars mobile betting app is one of a half dozen debuting in Louisiana on this first day. Not only does the Caesars app include all the prop and parlay bets that so many gamblers enjoy, it also allows users to earn rewards points just as they would by visiting the actual casino.

“You’re earning the same points and the same tier credit that you’d get if you were here playing slot machines or table games or eating in our restaurants,” he said.

Back at Jacketti’s home in Mandeville on Friday, he was still weighing his options for his first bet with the NFL’s conference championships on the way over the weekend.

“I’m not betting against Joe, and I’m not betting against Chase. I’m gonna bet the Bengals, take points,” he said with a smile.