Louisiana residents have plenty of land-based gambling options from which to choose.
They can engage in pari-mutuel betting at the local racetracks, enjoy slots or table games at the local casinos, or even play video poker in taverns or convenience stores in select parishes.
Unfortunately, the Bayou State has not regulated sports betting or paid-entry DFS contests yet, which means that state-sanctioned Internet gambling is limited to horse race betting on online OTB platforms.
Louisiana Gambling Law Summary
Louisiana Criminal Law defines gambling as “intentionally conducting a game or contest in which a person risks the loss of anything of value to realize a profit.” Also, the relevant regulations contain provisions that directly criminalize Internet gambling. The crime of “gambling by computer” is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail. If that weren’t deterrent enough, the authorities are required to destroy any devices seized as the instrument of said crime after conviction.
Most gambling-related matters are covered by Louisiana Revised Statutes, section 14:90 et seq. and 27:201 et seq. The minimum gambling age is 18 for pari-mutuel betting and charitable gambling and 21 for lottery games and casino-style games.
|Land-Based Gambling||Yes||Casinos, pari-mutuel, and video poker machines in select parishes|
|Online Gambling||No||No laws permitting online gambling, but pari-mutuel is allowed|
|Charitable Gaming||Yes||Bingo only|
|Minimum Gambling Age||18 for pari-mutuel and bingo; 21 for lotteries and casinos|
Online Gambling in Louisiana
Louisiana gambling laws are all about catching illegal gambling operators. It’d be hard to find any laws that have anything to do with individual players. Section 90 of Louisiana statutes list the offenses related to hosting unlicensed real money games online. According to most Louisiana lawyers, the local authorities simply aren’t allowed to go after gambling enthusiasts that frequent offshore sites under the current regulations.
Louisiana is home to 20 commercial casinos, which are allowed to offer electronic gambling machines such as slots and video poker terminals, as well as traditional table games. Nineteen of those operations are based on riverboats due to local gambling regulations. Harrah’s New Orleans is the only exception to this rule, as it was granted ‘special status’ in exchange for providing at least 2,400 jobs for the local community. Casino games are also available at the local racetracks, which operate under slightly different regulations. Moreover, the local Native American tribes operate four casino facilities, which are located on Indian reservations in Allen, St. Mary, Grant, and Avoyelles.
Also, 31 out of 64 Louisiana parishes allow local businesses to operate video poker machines. These are usually found in bars, restaurants, convenience stores, and truck stops.
However, Louisiana-based companies are prohibited from operating online casino sites. Playing on offshore sites is also illegal and constitutes a criminal offense.
There are 12 poker rooms in Louisiana, which are operated by the local casinos. The largest venues are located in New Orleans (Harrah’s New Orleans, 20 tables), Kinder (Coushatta Casino, 20 tables), Bossier City (Horseshoe Casino Bossier City, 14 tables), and Westlake (Isle of Capri Casino Lake Charles, 13 tables). The remaining facilities operate only eight tables or less. The cash game action is predominantly about medium-stakes Hold ’em, although Harrah’s New Orleans also offers Pot-Limit Omaha on the weekends and evenings. Tournament action is generally limited to No-Limit Hold ’em, with the buy-ins ranging from $80 to $240 at the largest venues.
Louisiana residents do not have access to any state-sanctioned online poker platforms, and playing on offshore sites is a criminal offense.
Louisiana Sports Betting
Betting on traditional sports is still illegal in Louisiana. During the 2019 legislative session, there were three attempts to challenge this status quo, but all efforts failed. The Senate approved the dedicated sports betting bill sponsored by Danny Martiny, but it was met by resistance in a House committee, members determined to add amendments making the bill unpassable. Martiny and gaming stakeholders persisted, trying to inject sports betting provisions into H 459 and H 600, the two House bills that were designed to create a regulatory framework for paid-entry DFS contests. This resulted in both bills being moved to a conference committee consisting of three House members and three senators. Both sides failed to reach an agreement before the end of the legislative session, and thus, no new regulations were passed.
Pari-mutuel horse race betting is legal in Louisiana. Local racing enthusiasts are free to engage in this form of gambling at the local racetracks, which are located in Bossier City (Louisiana Downs), Vinton (Delta Downs), Opelousas (Evangeline Downs), and New Orleans (Fairgrounds Race Course). Off-track betting is also legal and includes provisions allowing for online OTB platforms, such as TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires.
Dog racing is prohibited.
Louisiana Daily Fantasy Sports
At one time, DFS contests were illegal in Louisiana, as the general gambling regulations forbade all real-money games with an element of chance, no matter how minuscule. Also, the state had a blanket ban on all forms of Internet gambling that had not been explicitly legalized.
The situation changed in November 2018, when fantasy sports were approved in 47 out of the 64 Louisiana parishes following a statewide referendum. DFS operators are required to utilize geolocation technology to block the residents of parishes that voted “no” from accessing paid-entry contests.
During the 2019 legislative session, Louisiana lawmakers were expected to establish tax rates and DFS-specific regulations that would allow DFS operators to enter the local market, but unfortunately, they failed to reach a consensus because of the standoff mentioned above between the House and the Senate regarding the legalization of traditional sports betting.
Thus, despite the results of the referendum, Louisiana residents will not be able to participate in DFS contests on any online platforms this year.
Louisiana Lottery operates six draw games: Mega Millions, Powerball, Louisiana Lotto, Easy 5, Pick 4 and Pick 3. It also offers scratch game tickets, with the prices ranging from $1 to $10. The Lottery is not allowed to provide its products over the Internet, so all tickets must be purchased from licensed land-based retailers or automated WinStations.
Louisiana bingo halls are operated by registered charitable organizations and can be found across the entire state. Regrettably, even these charities are not allowed to offer their games online. Playing on offshore bingo sites violates the general ban on Internet gambling and constitutes a criminal offense.
Louisiana Online Gambling FAQ
What types of gambling are available in Louisiana?
Gambling used to be a part of day to day life in Louisiana, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising that land-based gambling enthusiasts have plenty of options to choose from these days. Like most states, Louisiana has a state-controlled lottery, but serious gamblers tend to prefer playing slots or table games in Indian or commercial casinos, such as Harrah’s New Orleans or Coushatta Casino Resort. Most of the commercial casinos are based on riverboats, but some of them are land-based venues. Nevertheless, Lousiana doesn’t have a regulated online gambling market.
What laws cover online gambling in Louisiana?
Section 90 of the Louisiana code lists all the laws that have anything to do with real money gambling. Louisiana regulations focus on illegal gambling operators instead of individual players, so the locals are free to play on any offshore site they want.
Is real money online gambling legal in Louisiana?
Real money online gambling isn’t forbidden by the local regulations, which means that playing on offshore sites is perfectly safe.
Which offshore gambling sites accept Louisiana residents?
Major offshore operators accept all Louisiana residents. A few small sites don’t, but we wouldn’t recommend playing there anyway.
What are the most popular banking options supported by Louisiana -facing sites?
Visa payments are the most popular deposit method, but many quality sites also support AMEX and MasterCard. Withdrawals, on the other hand, are almost always handled via a bank wire transfer, particularly when it comes to lower amounts of money. If you want to go through with a massive cash out, you could also go for a check by courier.
Does Louisiana offer any intrastate online gambling?
No. As opposed to Nevada and New Jersey, Louisiana doesn’t have a local iGaming market as Louisiana-based companies aren’t allowed to offer any real money iGaming services.
Is it likely for Louisiana to regulate online gambling?
The local politicians are interested in protecting the land-based casino industry, so they have no motivation to introduce an iGaming bill that could threaten their dominant position on the local market.