BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– Mobile sports betting apps will go live Friday morning, bringing a whole new twist to the betting table.

You can place a bet on your favorite teams from the comfort of your home. This new level of accessibility is going to be a game-changer for bettors in the state. 

“There are 20 some states that have sports betting in person, but will be the 17th state to have it online,” said Harrah’s New Orleans Senior Vice President Samir Mowad.

Several operators received their license to operate sports wagering apps in Louisiana.

“The illegal way, there’s no tax money for the state, whatsoever. And now there is. And then people will also be assured that they’re going to get paid when you do it legally. You may win the bet and find out later that you know your bookie went broke or your offshore accounts are no longer in business. So it’s an insurance policy for getting paid on your bet,” said DraftKings said Race & Sportsbook Operation Director Johnny Avello.

The apps are free to download.

“Once our app goes live and in the states, it’s already live, and even if you come to place in-person bets here now, you’re earning towards your status through sports betting the same way that you would through slots or tables or poker,” said Mowad.

“Free pools are something where DraftKings puts up the money and the consumer does not have to. Not everybody has discretionary income to be able to play, so I would encourage everyone to play in those pools and a chance to win some money without having to put up your own,” said Avello.

There will be some security features in place for regulated betting.

“We verify that you are who you say you are and we’re verifying that you’re 21 years old and that you’re not on any excluded list that don’t allow you to gamble,” said Mowad.

Mowad said users will receive automatic payments which can be cashed out when they win.

“When the event is over and we post the final score that money goes when you win that bet, that money goes directly back into your account and you’ll see that your balance now has increased,” said Avello.

Louisiana Association of Compulsive Gambling Executive Director Janet Miller said this new accessibility does raise some concerns.

“The access to gambling is immediate and in real-time, so that it can, for some people, make that quicker, easier access possibly could go into a problem,” Miller explained. “So what you do want to do is talk about if anybody’s gambling, how often they’re gambling. Talk about the new apps. Just have conversations about gaming.”

She said gambling addiction can be an invisible problem.

“The concern we’ve had since the pandemic is that people seem to be leaning towards use of alcohol, and gambling more often, and now with this avenue of easier accessibility. We are going to have to watch in the months ahead how that will affect not only adults, obviously, but also young people,” she said.

Miller cautioned people to beware of the signs.

“We see the personality changes and that somebody may become more irritable or difficult to talk to, they’re not involved with their family or their work in the same ways,” said Miller.

If you do have a gambling problem you can call 877-770-STOP.