Louisiana Sports Betting and Online Gambling Laws
Gambling in Louisiana has an intricately woven fabric of contrasting gambling laws from the days of the earliest French and Spanish settlers to the current-day.
Crackdowns on gambling have occurred throughout the state’s history, and yet casinos in Louisiana thrive as does poker, horse racing in Louisiana and Louisiana video poker laws are trend-setting. Meanwhile, state legislation deems online casinos illegal.
Please see the table below for the ‘state-of-play’ on sports betting in Louisiana, gambling online, and other gambling types.
|Gambling Type||Legal Land-Based||Legal Online|
|Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)||N/A||No|
Louisiana Gambling Tax Rate
- The tax rate on winnings in the state of Louisiana is 5%.
- Wins over $1200 may be subject to Federal Taxes.
Louisiana Gambling Age
Louisiana Sports Betting Legislation
Louisiana has successful and long-established (however, quite separate) sports and gambling industries. On the sports side, Louisiana is home to NFL, NBA franchises and several of the biggest college football programs in the nation. For gambling, Louisiana has a network of Tribal, Riverboat and Commercial Casinos, a lottery, Off-Track Betting (OTB’s) locations and horse racing tracks, complete with live and simulcast racing.
Sports Betting in Louisiana
The strength of sports and gambling has led to Louisiana entering the legal world environment of betting on sports fray in March of 2018 with the introduction of a bill into the State Legislature. The bill has proposed legalizing sports betting at four of the state’s live horse racing facilities.
The bill calls for a referendum in each of the parishes in which sports betting would take place, as required by the Louisiana Constitution for any expansion of gambling. If the voters of each parish approve, race courses in all four parishes would be permitted to begin taking wagers on all manner of sports.
Of course, since May 2018 and the lifting of the Federal ban on sports betting by the U.S. Supreme Court, sports betting has now been handed back to each state for action. Other bills have since been introduced to the Louisiana State Legislature looking to legalize sports betting at Louisiana’s commercial, tribal and riverboat casinos.
Consequently, as gambling-friendly state (accustomed to gaming), there is a strong chance that Louisiana does indeed legalize sports betting in 2018 or early 2019.
Sports Betting Online
Sports Betting Online is currently unavailable in Louisiana, and even DFS is outlawed in the Bayou State, as online gambling as a whole is outlawed in the state of Louisiana.
Horse Racing Betting online is the only exception to the rule in Louisiana.
Debate on the state’s strict online gambling laws and online casino laws began in 2018 by the State’s lawmakers on how sports betting can be legalized in Louisiana.
Casinos in Louisiana
There are plenty of legal Louisiana casinos that offer most of the popular casino games. The state of Louisiana offers three major types of casinos to its residents and visitors. There are riverboat casinos, which comprises all of Louisiana’s legal casinos with one exception. That one land-based casino has a special State Government dispensation that allows it to be on land as it guarantees a minimum number of jobs to the citizens of New Orleans. Native American Louisiana casinos located on reservation land comprise the other casino type in the state.
Louisiana Riverboat and Land-based Casinos
Louisiana has a total of 21 casinos (Tribal Casinos, Riverboat Casinos and the aforementioned sole land-based commercial casino) in which you’ll find more than an amazing 35 000 slots and gaming machines, and an equally impressive 850 table games at those Louisiana casinos. Our research on Louisiana’s Casinos has uncovered a minimum bet in Louisiana of $0.01 and an astonishing maximum bet of $ 25 000.
Online Casinos in Louisiana
There are many forms of live gambling in Louisiana. No other state in the South compares to it. However, on the other hand, Louisiana is one of the few states to actively and explicitly criminalize online gambling and online casinos in general. Severe punishments are still in place including imprisonment for operators of the games and hefty fines for players.
However, in early 2018, the first discussions on the legalization of online casinos begun, but it is still early days in the ongoing debate in the State’s Legislature on the topic.
Consequently, in Louisiana, we advise all potential online casino players to obey all laws that online casinos are illegal. It is not advisable to use online casinos (US-based or Offshore) within Louisiana state limits until online gambling has the green light in the state.
Players looking for legal online betting options in Louisiana should stick to fully legal Horse Racing Betting sites. All are open to accept online players from within the state.
Horse Racing Betting in Louisiana
Horse Racing Betting is completely legal (both online and on course/track side) for all visitors to, and residents of the state of Louisiana. Each state has been granted the right to rule on the legality of horse racing betting by Federal authorities. Consequently, many states permit their residents and visitors to bet on horse races both Track side, Off Track Betting and online. Many of the largest horse betting websites across the United States have a presence in the state of Louisiana.
Track Side: Louisiana currently has 4 live horse racing track facilities. Louisiana is one of the many states of the union where no greyhound racing track facilities exist, due to greyhound racing being illegal.
Off Track Betting (OTB): Off track betting bureauss (OTBs) are widespread throughout Louisiana. Full betting on Horse Racing and Simulcast racing are offered at the extensive network of more than 15 OTB bureaus across the state. Betting on races in Louisiana, most major racing locations worldwide and of course, across the United States and are all available in Louisiana’s OTB’s.
Online Betting on Horse Racing: Major U.S. online horse racing betting sites all accept customers from the state of Louisiana and offer real money bets on horse racing (Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown etc.) for Louisiana residents and visitors to the state.
Louisiana’s Daily Fantasy Sports Laws
Lawmakers in the Federal judiciary have administered that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are exempt from Federal jurisdiction, as they have legally assessed DFS to be contest of skill, rather than a gambling game of chance.
At the Louisiana State Level, however, DFS participation is considered a form of gambling, which the state bans. Legislation will be required to be passed before a return of DFS sites in the state of Louisiana. As DFS is 100% an online activity, legislation may also be required that make DFS sites exempt from the Louisiana State Law on Online Betting.
Subsequently, for the time being at least, none of the major DFS sites are legalized to operate or to hold DFS contests in the state of Louisiana, for its residents or visitors to the Bayou state.
What is DFS Exactly?
In short, when it first begun, Fantasy Sports was a fun and potentially big money winning game where a group of players (called a league), select their team from among a group of real-life professional athletes (most Fantasy Sports sites operate NFL, MLB, NHL & NBA competitions) to collate the highest-point scoring fantasy teams.
Based on the performances of each real-life athlete throughout the season in their given sport, the fantasy teams are assigned points. The Fantasy Sports player whose fantasy team wins the most points throughout the season, wins the Fantasy game. Fantasy Sports are usually played amongst friends or coworkers, and some friendly social betting can sometimes be involved.
Then along came the big money and frequency of DFS competitions. DFS on the other hand, differs slightly to the original form of Fantasy Sports. Instead of players waiting throughout an entire football season to know who won and who lost, in a DFS game, results are announced each day. While season-long Fantasy Sports are played mostly amongst friends and co-workers, DFS is usually played online with thousands of other players. Each player contributes a few dollars to ‘buy into’ the league. As a result, winning players stand to win as much as a million dollars or more from the player entry money prize pool for each major league.
Prize-winning DFS players across the United States are usually excellent ‘budget balancers’. Those champion DFS players can generate the best value for money out of their chosen players. Champion DFS teams usually have an absence of superstars, and are most regularly, a collection of bargain-basement consistently-performing journeymen; Fans of the iconic Hollywood movie ‘Moneyball’ know and understand the concept well.
Poker Laws in Louisiana
There are dedicated poker rooms in the Louisiana State area at some of the Tribal, Commercial and Riverboat casinos (a total of 11 Poker Rooms in the State) that are offering poker. Player vs Player poker options are available and there are many dedicated card rooms on Tribal territory.
However, the most visible of all Louisiana’s gambling types is Video Poker. Widely and readily available in casinos and racetracks as well as restaurants, gas stations, bars and truck stops throughout the state, Video Poker is easily the most accessible form of gambling in Louisiana. According to Louisiana video poker laws, any business that has a liquor license can operate up to three Video Poker machines.
As of August 2017, a new Louisiana state law went into effect which loosened the state’s gambling regulations on Video Poker machines. Video Poker machines across Louisiana were upgraded to accept bills as large as $100. This was a big jump from the previous state government restriction that kept the machines from accepting bills larger than $20.
Curiously, while video poker is legal to some limited extent, playing poker online in Louisiana is still prohibited.
Social poker games are tolerated in Louisiana, although no specific laws cover social gaming in practice.
Online Poker in Louisiana
Online poker is unavailable in Louisiana at this time, due to the laws deemed online poker to be illegal in the state. See section above on ‘Online Casinos in Louisiana’.
eSports Betting Louisiana
Excluding horse racing, sports betting and eSports betting is still unavailable in Louisiana. Once sports betting becomes legal in Louisiana, eSports betting should become popular.
‘eSports’ is effectively video game play at the highest level possible, most often played in a team format (rather than individually) in leagues and tournaments worldwide. Software game development companies have launched their own pro leagues, and as live streaming technology has continued to improve, eSports competitions have been transformed into global betting events.
High-profile eSports such as Fortnite, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, and Call of Duty have their own league competitions with big global followings.
Developed sports betting markets such as Australia, Canada, and Britain, offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments.
Once sports betting is legalized in Louisiana, watch for eSports betting to be offered at your favorite sportsbook in the state.
History of Gambling in Louisiana
1753 – First government run casino opened by the region’s French Governor.
1812 – New Orleans, Louisiana exempted from Federal ban on gambling.
1866 – Louisiana State Lottery originally created and ran until 1895 before being outlawed.
1925 – Horse racing betting legalized in Louisiana.
1991 – A new Louisiana State lottery becomes legal. Approval of 15 riverboat casinos, the first land-based casino and Louisiana’s famous video poker machines.
1993 – Three Native American tribes negotiate opening casinos on Louisiana Tribal lands.
1997 – Slot machines permitted at racetracks. This year also saw laws introduced to Louisiana outlawing online gambling and online casinos.
2013 – A Committee to look into the possibility of internet gambling (unsuccessful) was first established.
2017 – Video Poker machines across Louisiana were upgraded to accept bills as large as $100 from the previous $20 maximum.