The Southern states of the US are, like other regions of the country, embracing the rapidly expanding sports betting industry, with major developments occurring in Florida and Louisiana over the past week.

Described by Legal Sports Report (LSR) Co-Host Adam Candee as ‘one of the crown jewels of the US sports betting market’, Florida has now taken the steps to initiate mobile wagering, as Hard Rock Sportsbook launches its app.

The opening up of the Floridian market to legalised sports betting was initially scheduled to occur on 15 October, but the Seminole Tribe – which is due to play a major part in the rollout under the terms of an agreement with state Governor Ron DeSantis – was unable to commence operations, whilst some lawsuits also posed hurdles.

However, with Hard Rock now making inroads, LSR commentator Dustin Gouker shared his opinions. 

“Hard Rock, we knew wanted to have a national brand, this is not just a Florida play,” He remarked. “They don’t want to have this bespoke bad product here in Florida, this is for the rest of the country as well.

“It’s not surprising that they’re not running a monopoly on their own. This is not like some of the lottery monopolies that are out there, they’re still trying to do their best. This is still not optimal for the consumer in having only one option but it’s still better than some of the single options out there.”

Meanwhile, heading west to the state of Louisiana, four casinos have been granted sports betting licences by Louisiana Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns.

These are Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino, which have both partnered with Caesars Sportsbook, and L’Auberge Casino and Boomtown Casino, which have both linked with Penn National Gaming.

However, LSR Co-Host Matt Brown observed that mobile sports betting is not quite yet on the horizon.

Gouker added: “We have retail sports betting in Louisiana now, so all eyes turn to when we get the online betting. The Director of the Gaming Control Board – in recent reporting from LSR – says they are aiming by January 1. 

“That would be in time for the play-offs, in time obviously for the Super Bowl, it would include a lot of the major players seemingly there. Genius sports also put out a press release saying that online betting would launch in ‘the coming weeks’”.

Sports betting marching on through Dixie