Louisiana has always had a mystique about it. From the sights and sound of New Orleans (The Big Easy) to the Cajun music and rustic nature of the bayou, there has always been something slightly different about this state. When it comes to gambling, we are happy to say that the state has had a very progressive view on many verticals, and this page will outline where Louisiana stands on topics like casino, pari-mutuel, and sports betting.
Sports Betting in Louisiana
Sports betting is very popular in Louisiana, and it is easy to see why. The popularity of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, along with the many college teams in the state make the landscape ripe for betting on local teams. However, just like all the other states outside Nevada, until 2018 sports betting was technically illegal In Louisiana. This means that the activity is happening outside of regulated organizations, which may make some people feel uncomfortable. The repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018 has opened the floodgates for individual states to regulate sports betting on their own, and many states have already put these laws into action. Louisiana is not one of those states currently.
Online Sports Betting
So, if sports betting is so popular in Louisiana, where are players finding places to place their wagers? Well, for the last twenty years, illegal companies based outside the United States have been offering sports betting via the internet. Many states have already taken steps to legiferate on sports betting and corner these rogue operators out of the market. With a general liberal stance on gambling, we are willing to bet that Louisiana will not be far behind and will pass sports betting laws in 2019.
Horse Betting in Louisiana
The horse racing business in Louisiana is alive and well. There are several tracks in the state, and given the mild climate, these tracks are able to have extended live racing dates in comparison to some of the more northern tracks in the country. While pari-mutuel betting has been on the decline for many years, this has not stopped a core group of fans from continuing to head to these tracks to place bets not only on live races held at each facility but also on races being simulcast from across the country.
In addition to the racetracks that offer betting, there are 11 off-track betting facilities in the state. Each of these offers players the chance to bet on the same races that they could at the track without having to make their way all the way to one of them.
Online Horse Betting
Louisiana handles online horse betting like many of the other states – there is no allocation in the land-based licensing for online betting, but there are companies like Twinspires and Xpressbet that allow residents to create accounts online and find the same bets they would at the track. This seems like a loophole in the regulations – these sites are not licensed in Louisiana – but to date, there have been no efforts to thwart them for accepting play from Louisiana players.
Casino Gambling in Louisiana
Louisiana has one of the most liberal views on casino gambling of any state. This dates back to 1991 when the state allowed for riverboat casinos to be legal. Very quickly, there were 15 of these riverboats licensed and launched. The state did not have the same rules as many other states that these boats needed to be in motion in order to allow gaming, so they were simply moored to docks, but technically still located in the rivers.
In 2018, the state changed the law around riverboat gambling, finally allowing these casinos to be based on dry land. This makes a lot of sense as the vessels were facing serious deterioration being in the water for these extended periods, and this was causing a safety issue.
On top of all the riverboat casinos in Louisiana, the state also has a compact with the local Native American tribes for casino gambling. There are currently a handful of land-based casinos on tribal land, and these all offer an alternative to the riverboat casinos. Tribal casinos are allowed to offer the same types of slots games and table games that the riverboat casinos.
Online Casinos in Louisiana
Online casinos are available to residents of Louisiana, but these are all sites that are based in unregulated regions. When the casino regulations of Louisiana were written, online casinos did not exist so there is no language in the agreements allowing the current license holders to offer internet versions of their games. This will certainly be fixed in the near future and we expect a law to be passed in Louisiana that will allow locally licensed casinos to offer their games online as well.
Lottery in Louisiana
The Louisiana Lottery officially launched back in 1991, around the same time as several other states. The lottery ‘s mandate is to provide entertaining lottery games that generate revenue for state-run entities focused on education, social issues and the betterment of its residents. To date, the Louisiana Lottery has raised billions of dollars for these causes from the proceeds of draw games and scratch tickets which are available at retail outlets across the state.
Louisiana Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?
Sports betting is not currently legal in Louisiana, no. The state has taken a very conservative approach to Daily Fantasy Sports as well, although recent lobbying efforts by both Fanduel and Draft Kings have resulted in DFS finally being allowed legally in the state. Regular sports betting may find itself on the docket soon as a result, and you can bet that the two Daily Fantasy heavy hitters will be at the front of the line to help make it a reality.
When will sports betting be legal in Louisiana?
With the DFS regulations passing in the mid-term elections in November 2018, and the repeal of PASPA creating a flurry of activity in other states regarding regulated sports betting, we are hopeful that a sports betting bill will be introduced in Louisiana in 2019. How long it takes to get to a stage where it can be voted on and passed is hard to say – as we mentioned, the state tends to be meticulous about these decisions. If we have to make a guess, we think a bill will pass a vote before the end of the 2019 legislative session, but no legal sports bets will be taken in the state before 2020.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Louisiana?
While the best online sportsbooks have similar qualities (good customer service, promotions and odds), each individual has a different set of needs. When you look at the sportsbooks on ur recommended list, make sure to consider each site based on what feature is the most important for you. It might be the number of games, the odds and margins or the promotions that the sites organize. Regardless of the features, we urge you to only select a site that we rate as being user-friendly on mobile phones. These days, more people are betting from their mobile devices than ever, and with this likely to increase in the future, finding a site you are comfortable with on your phone may be the key decision on where you make your account and deposits.