Louisiana Sports Betting

Betting is on in the Bayou.

At least it will be by early 2022.

Voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted in 2020 to legalize retail and online sports betting, setting up a 2021 legislative session that saw the passage of a regulatory bill that was signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards shortly thereafter.

As a result, as early as late in the football regular season, a number of physical sportsbooks and up to 41 mobile betting apps will go live in the Pelican State.

When will Louisiana sports betting launch?

As lawmakers convened in 2021, the goal was certainly to have the Louisiana sports betting industry up and running for the football season. Stands to reason, of course, as the state sits in the heart of SEC country and boasts passionate collegiate and New Orleans Saints fanbases.

The effective starting date of Louisiana sports betting law is July 1. Once that date hit, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB), the overseeing body of the industry, could begin the process of issuing licenses to sports betting operators.

However, a “hiccup” emerged in July 2021. A month earlier, LGCB Chairman Mike Noel resigned suddenly. As a result, the LGCB had to search for a replacement, and the rule-making process was delayed. The state could accept and review sports betting operator applications until they finalize those rules. Thankfully, the state has since appointed Ronnie Johns to head up the organization. The group drafted sports betting regulations in August 2020.

With Noel’s sudden departure and the subsequent delay of drafting industry rules, it is unlikely online sports betting will arrive earlier than winter 2021.

The timeline to go live with LA sports betting includes accomplishing the following tasks:

  • Voter approval on referendum to legalize sports betting: Nov. 4, 2020
  • Pass sports betting regulatory bills: June 10, 2021
  • Signing of bills by Gov. John Bel Edwards: June 7, 2021; June 22, 2021
  • Ronnie Johns appointed LGCB Chair: July 23, 2021
  • Emergency sports betting regulations approved: Aug. 20, 2021
  • Open the application process
  • Review license applications
  • Regulatory approval, including review of tech, for operators to launch
  • Launch

Map of where you can bet in Louisiana

Betting in Louisiana is dependent on which parish you are in. Each parish voted to decide how to handle sports betting. Counties in blue voted to enact sports betting, which means retail locations are allowed and you can use betting apps on your phone:

Parishes without legal sports betting:

  • Caldwell
  • Catahoula
  • Franklin
  • Jackson
  • La Salle
  • Sabine
  • Union
  • West Carroll
  • Winn

What will sports betting in Louisiana look like?

Legislation signed by Edwards set up a wide-open and potentially highly competitive sports betting industry in the Pelican State.

Lawmakers carved out 20 licenses for the following properties:

  • 15 riverboat casinos
  • Four racetracks
  • Harrah’s New Orleans

Tribal casinos would also be able to open brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, as they are allowed to offer the same games as commercial casinos in the state.

For mobile betting, legislators set up each licensee to have two online skins. They also agreed to allow the Louisiana Lottery to launch a betting app. All told, Louisiana could feature up to 41 online sportsbooks. Those mobile apps must have geofencing technology not only to ensure betting is occurring with state lines but also outside of the nine parishes that did not vote to legalize sports betting.

What’s more, lawmakers have authorized the lottery to set up sports wagering kiosks at thousands of bars, restaurants, and truck stops throughout most of the state.

Should the 20 licenses not all be claimed by Jan. 1, 2022, fantasy sports operators and video poker facilities can apply for mobile licensing.

Tax rates and licensing fees

Sportsbooks in Louisiana will pay a 15% tax on mobile net gaming revenue and a 10% tax on retail.

In addition, LA casinos and racetracks must pay a $250,000 application fee before cutting a $500,000 check for a five-year sports betting license. Those fees drop to $50,000 and $100,000 for platform providers and to $25,000 and $50,000 for service providers.

As for what Louisiana bettors will be able to wager on, legislation signed by Edwards authorizes sportsbooks to accept bets on:

  • Professional sports
  • College sports
  • Olympics
  • International sports
  • Esports

The LGCB is tasked with officially adopting the catalog of sports on which bettors can wager.

With so many legal wagering options potentially launching, it is believed that Louisiana could take in over $2.5 billion in wagers at maturity, leading to some $200 million in LA sports betting revenue for operators and up to $30 million for the state and parishes.

What sports betting apps will launch in Louisiana?

With a wide-open sports betting market, seemingly any operator has a shot at opening up shop in Louisiana.

For starters, both DraftKings and FanDuel are apparent shoo-ins to the Pelican State industry. After all, both companies contributed to political campaigns that attempted to influence voters to approve both legal sports betting. (The two parties made similar efforts a few years earlier that led to voter approval of daily fantasy sports in Louisiana.)

Caesars also appears as a given, considering it owns the state’s lone land-based commercial casino, Harrah’s New Orleans. Incidentally, Caesars is rumored to also be on the verge of landing the naming rights for the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints.

No doubt, other big-name sports betting operators will target Louisiana, including the likes of BetMGM, PointsBetFOX Bet, and Barstool Sportsbook.

How to sign up for a Louisiana sports betting app

When the dawning of Louisiana sports betting does arrive, it will be time for bettors to set up their online sportsbook accounts. Pelican State customers can accomplish this from the comfort of their own homes.

While geolocation technology will limit where in Louisiana bettors can place wagers, it does not apply to setting up accounts.

Doing so is simple. All you need is a few pieces of information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number

From there, simply follow the prompts (and correct any erroneous information), and you’re on your way to legally betting in Louisiana.

Where will Louisiana have legal sports betting options?

The 20 licenses carved out by law will be available for what legislators dubbed as advance deposit wagering operators.

Eligible parties include any entity that qualifies for  (or already owns) a Class III or Class II gaming license in the state. In this case, that means the following properties are eligible:

  • One land-based casino
    • Harrah’s New Orleans
  • Four tribal casinos
    • Coushatta Casino Resort
    • Cypress Bayou Casino
    • Jena Choctaw Pines Casino
    • Paragon Casino Resort
  • Four racetracks
    • Delta Downs
    • Evangeline Downs
    • Fair Grounds Race Course
    • Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
  • 15 riverboat casinos
    • Amelia Belle
    • Belle of Baton Rouge
    • Boomtown Bossier City
    • Boomtown New Orleans
    • Diamond Jacks Casino Bossier City
    • Eldorado Shreveport
    • Golden Nugget Lake Charles
    • Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge
    • Horseshoe Bossier City
    • Isle of Capri Casino Lake Charles
    • L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge
    • L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles
    • Margaritaville Resort Casino
    • Sam’s Town Shreveport
    • Treasure Chest Casino

All 20 of these properties are also eligible for two online skins apiece. Another mobile skin will go to the Louisiana Lottery.

In addition, the lottery will oversee all self-service kiosks that will be installed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. There is no cap on how many locations will be authorized to house these machines.

History of Louisiana sports betting laws

While lawmakers put enabling legislation in front of Gov. John Bel Edwards, on the heels of Louisiana voters approving a 2020 referendum to legalize sports betting in 55 parishes, it wasn’t the first time the state took a crack at legalization.

In 2019, on the final day of the session, legislators faced a bill that would put a referendum on the ballot and provide implementation language for the industry. While that proposal failed to pass, Sen. Danny Martiny looked elsewhere. He turned his attention to a bill detailing the daily fantasy sports industry, one keyed by voters in select parishes approving legal DFS. Martiny’s efforts, though, fell short.

Fortunately, the following year saw much more success.

Several bills emerged to put the question to legalize sports betting on the 2020 ballot. Some, though, included regulatory language that limited wagering to casinos. As luck would have it, though, the proposal that advanced did just two things: put the issue in front of voters and task the Louisiana Gaming Control Board as the regulatory body.

After voters in all but nine parishes approved legal betting, lawmakers reconvened in 2021 to craft the landscape of regulated wagering in Louisiana. Three bills passed during the legislative session, measures that outlined taxation and regulation as well as one bill that authorized retail and online sports betting in the state.

Those three bills were ultimately signed by Edwards, signaling the launch of Louisiana sports betting potentially by early 2022.

Louisiana sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?

Yes, though the industry awaits launch. Voters in 55 of 64 parishes approved legal sports betting via a November 2020 referendum. The law allows for 20 licenses, available for casinos and racetracks, that will also have access to two online skins apiece. Up to 41 betting apps will become available for Louisiana bettors, who will be able to place legal wagers only within those parishes that approved sports betting.

When will Louisiana sports betting launch?

Stakeholders are hopeful that sportsbooks will be up and running before the end of 2021, though it appears more realistic that Louisiana sports betting will launch by early 2022.

How many sportsbooks will operate in Louisiana?

Lawmakers carved out 20 licenses for the following entities:

  • One land-based casino
  • Four racetracks
  • 15 riverboat casinos

Louisiana’s four tribal casinos will also be able to offer retail betting, and the Louisiana Lottery will be afforded a mobile betting skin while also overseeing self-service kiosks at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Those 20 licensees will also have access to two skins apiece, meaning there could be up to 41 mobile betting apps available in Louisiana.

Will bars and restaurants have legal sports betting?

Yes. Lawmakers authorized the Louisiana Lottery to oversee and implement self-service betting kiosks at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. There is no cap as to how many establishments will be eligible to house these machines.

Is daily fantasy sports legal in Louisiana?

Yes, but only in certain regions. Voters in 47 of 64 parishes in the state voted to legalize daily fantasy sports in 2018. However, it wasn’t until late 2020 that lawmakers finalized DFS rules. Louisiana began accepting applications in February 2021 with the hope of launching legal DFS in time for football season.

Can I bet on college sports in Louisiana? How about Louisiana teams?

Yes. The law allows for licensed sports betting operators in Louisiana to accept wagers on college and professional sports. That means fans in the Pelican State can wager not only on the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans but also potentially on the following NCAA Division I programs:

  • Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Louisiana-Monroe
  • Louisiana Tech
  • LSU
  • Tulane
  • Grambling State
  • McNeese State
  • Nicholls State
  • Northwestern State
  • Southeastern Louisiana
  • Southern
  • New Orleans

How does geolocation know where in the state I am?

Geolocation technology serves as a positioning system to accurately pinpoint the location of bettors, thus ensuring that sportsbooks are only accepting wagers from customers not only within Louisiana state lines but also within parishes that approved legal sports betting.

By tracking the IP address of customers and triangulating their Wi-Fi signals, geolocation is able to know exactly where they are located.

Fortunately, bettors don’t really need to do much of anything to verify their locations. For the most part, downloading and installing betting apps will automatically install the geolocation technology. If that doesn’t work, operators can help out.