In 2020, voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes approved the legalization of sports betting in Louisiana. About a year later, the first retail sportsbooks launched. Online sports betting launched Jan. 28, 2022. State law carved out 41 sports betting apps in Louisiana, affording them to 16 commercial casinos, four racetracks and the Louisiana Lottery. In addition, the lottery will install betting kiosks at thousands of bars, restaurants and truck stops scattered throughout the state.
For decades, Louisiana rode the status quo when it came to legal gambling in the state. After nearly 20 years, however, Louisiana gambling has expanded. A state with multiple casino locations (most of which are riverboat casinos), a handful of racinos and a love of all things sports is now dipping its toes into legal online gambling.
Voters in the majority of parishes in the Pelican State approved the legalization of daily fantasy sports in 2018 and sports betting in 2020. The DFS industry went live in July 2021. The first regulated sportsbooks launched on Halloween 2021. More soon followed suit and some still wait in the wings for license approval. The state launched online sports betting in Louisiana Jan. 28, 2022.
With the additions of DFS and sports betting, it marked Louisiana’s greatest expansion of legal gambling (and online gambling) since the introduction of the Louisiana Lottery and casinos in the early 1990s. While online casinos and online poker are still a no-go in the state, the change of heart is a step forward. PlayLouisiana stays on top of what’s happening in gambling news in the state.
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It seems as if legal casino gaming has always existed in Louisiana, yet the legalization of commercial casinos didn’t come until 1991. The authorization of a land-based property came a year later. Now, Louisiana features 15 riverboat casinos and the land-based Harrah’s New Orleans.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Voters in 47 parishes approved the legalization of daily fantasy sports in 2018. But it wasn’t until three years later that the first operators launched. DraftKings has since gone live in the state with DFS options, and FanDuel joined in October 2021.
While Louisiana has expanded gambling to include DFS and sports betting, real money online poker remains illegal in the state. That said, players in Louisiana do have access to sweepstakes-based online poker sites such as Global Poker, which does not require players to spend real money to get in on the action. Rather, they use virtual currency known as Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins, the latter of which can be redeemed for cash.
Similar to online poker, online casino gambling is illegal in Louisiana. Residents and visitors to the state looking for a true casino experience must visit one of the 15 commercial casinos or four tribal properties. However, sweepstakes-based sites such as Chumba Casino, Funzpoints and LuckyLand Slots offer free-to-play online casino games that use virtual currency, including Sweeps Coins (Chumba and LuckyLand) and Premium Funzpoints (Funzpoints) that can be redeemed for cash.
Selling its first tickets in 1991, the Louisiana Lottery offers a variety of draw games. That includes multi-state draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions. If you prefer scratchers, the lottery has you covered with more than 30 instant-win games available. However, the Louisiana Lottery does not sell tickets or offer games online.
Yes, to an extent. Voters approved the legalization of daily fantasy sports (in 2018) and sports betting (2020) in the majority of parishes in Louisiana. The DFS industry launched in summer 2021, while online sports betting launched on Jan. 28, 2022. The Louisiana Lottery does not sell games online, while online poker sites and online casinos each remain illegal in the state.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board regulates all commercial casino and sports betting activities in the state. Horse racing, meanwhile, falls under the purview of the Louisiana Racing Commission.
Real-money online casino gaming is not legal in Louisiana. However, players have access to sweepstakes-based sites such as Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots, both of which use virtual currency that can be redeemed for real cash.
To gamble at any of the state’s casinos and participate in legal daily fantasy sports and sports betting, players must be at least 21 years old. However, individuals only need to be 18 years old to take part in horse betting and Louisiana Lottery games.
Whenever gambling exists, and especially when it expands as the industry has in Louisiana, problem gambling and gambling addiction become serious issues for many individuals. Players have access to many legal gambling options in the Pelican State, meaning there are plenty of potholes that Louisianans who suffer from these afflications can fall into. Fortunately, there are many resources, both in Louisiana and nationally, that are there to help problem and compulsive gamblers.
- Louisiana Council on Problem Gambling
- Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling
- Louisiana Department of Health’s Behavioral Health
- Gamblers Anonymous
Another option for Louisianans suffering from problem gambling is self-exclusion. For example, Harrah’s New Orleans participates in Caesars’ self-exclusion program that allows individuals to limit how much gambling they have access to at all Caesars properties around the world. It should be noted that only gamblers themselves can add their names to self-exclusion lists. Friends and family members cannot do that for them. Learn more about responsible gambling in Louisiana.
Horse betting is legal in Louisiana, overseen and regulated by the Louisiana Racing Commission. The Pelican State features four racetracks that operate under the commission’s purview:
- Fair Ground Race Course & Slots
- Evangeline Downs
- Delta Downs
- Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
In addition, Louisiana boasts 17 off-track betting parlors, at which individuals can watch simulcast races and wager on them.
In addition to the 15 commercial casinos, Louisiana is also home to four tribal casinos.
- Coushatta Casino Resort (Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana)
- Cypress Bayou Casino (Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana)
- Jena Choctaw Pines Casino (Jena Band of Choctaw Indians)
- Paragon Casino Resort (Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana)
These properties all offer the same gaming authorized at commercial casinos, courtesy of gaming compacts agreed upon by the state and its tribes.
For more information on the Louisiana gambling industry, feel free to visit any of the sites below: