Louisiana Sports Betting

Legal sports betting is on in the Bayou.

Now in the Pelican State: up to 41 Louisiana mobile betting apps in addition to retail sportsbooks set up at authorized casinos and racetracks. Not to mention thousands of self-service betting kiosks at bars, restaurants and truck stops throughout Louisiana.

As sports betting takes shape in Louisiana, new users can sign up early at the following sportsbooks and get a welcome bonus as the state officially launches online betting:

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Updated: April 28, 2022

What will the New Orleans Saints do in the NFL Draft? That’s the question on the mind of many betting on sports in Louisiana. Another weapon on offense? Attack the defense? The other focus is on LSU Tigers to get selected, the amount and the teams they will play for.

As for the New Orleans Pelicans, they’re in a must-win game against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Playoffs. Win at home and the Pelicans will force a Game 7. Lose and the season is over.

 

Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Louisiana. Online sportsbooks began launching on Jan. 28, 2022. The first commercial retail sportsbooks went live Oct. 31, 2021, and more have joined the roster, with a few remaining to do so. While two Caesars properties were the first commercial casinos to open retail sports betting, one brick-and-mortar operation had already started taking bets.

Betfred Sports, leveraging a partnership with the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe, opened its retail sportsbook at Paragon Casino Resort in October 2021.

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. Add in an online license for the Louisiana Lottery, and that means up to 41 betting apps will become available for Louisiana bettors, who can place legal wagers only within those parishes that approved sports betting.

When did Louisiana online sports betting launch?

The first online sportsbooks went live in Louisiana on Jan. 28, 2022. The timeline leading up to legalized online sports betting in Louisiana has included:

  • 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: August 2021
  • Review license applications: September-October 2021
  • Regulatory approval, including review of tech, for operators to launch: October 2021
  • Launch: Jan. 28, 2022

Sports betting apps operating in Louisiana

With a wide-open sports betting market that could ultimately feature up to 41 sports betting apps, seemingly any operator has a shot at opening up shop in Louisiana. For starters, Caesars actually pre-launched its mobile betting app in late October 2021. The Caesars Louisiana app went live to allow users to set up their online betting accounts, although the operator cannot accept wagers until regulators gave the green light on Jan. 28, 2022.

DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and BetRivers also launched online sports betting on Jan. 28, 2022.

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

Finally, the Louisiana Lottery will be afforded a sports betting license to operate a mobile sportsbook. However, the lottery has yet to announce its operating partner. What’s more, the lottery will set up self-service kiosks at thousands of restaurants, bars and truck stops across the state.

Here is a peek at some of the top online sports betting apps launched in Louisiana:

DraftKings Sportsbook

In 2012, DraftKings was formed as an out-of-garage-working daily fantasy sports company. Now, the brand has grown into one of the top legal sports betting companies in the country. DraftKings is now available in Louisiana. With a user-friendly and sleek mobile app design and a wide range of sports and betting markets on which to wager, DraftKings could take aim at becoming king of the Pelican State.

BetMGM Sportsbook

A product of one of the world’s top casino companies, BetMGM has shown aggressive expansion to states that legalize sports betting. Through BetMGM, Louisiana bettors have as much control as they can ask for regarding their wagers. On top of adding, changing or altering bet sizes, users can also elect to cash out early if a bet is winning.

Caesars Sportsbook

If ever a company was becoming the face of Louisiana, it might very well be Caesars. The casino company owns the naming rights to the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints. It owns the state’s lone land-based casino, Harrah’s New Orleans, not to mention three riverboat casinos and a racetrack. After taking over the well-renowned William Hill brand, the Caesars Sportsbook app is equipped with all the latest betting features including a full slate of odds boosts. It made all the sense in the world for the company to bring its well-established Caesars Sportsbook app to Louisiana.

FanDuel Sportsbook

One of the biggest lobbyists for bringing legal sports betting to Louisiana was FanDuel, which along with DraftKings contributed to campaigns to help sway voter support. With ample bonuses and promotional offers, FanDuel has become one of the heavy hitters in state-regulated wagering. It is the home of the same game parlay, too. Now, FanDuel has brought its clean and simple online betting app to the Pelican State.

Other sports betting brands that could set up shop in Louisiana include:

How to sign up at a Louisiana sportsbook

Louisiana sports betting sites make it easy for Pelican State customers to sign up from the comfort of their own homes. While geolocation technology limits where in Louisiana bettors can place wagers, it does not apply to setting up accounts.

Doing so is simple. To start, you need a few pieces of information:

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

From there, simply follow these steps, and you’re on your way to legally betting in Louisiana.

  • Register your account.
  • Download the app.
  • Deposit.
  • Place your bets.

Bonuses and promotions at Louisiana sports betting sites

In the wide and competitive market that Louisiana sports betting is, there have emerged some generous bonuses from operators. Some of the more common types include:

  • No Deposit: With no-deposit bonuses, users receive bonuses in the form of site credits or free bets. Bettors do not need to fund their online sportsbook accounts claim those rewards, which are typically reserved for new users of sportsbooks. Rather, customers need only create their accounts to claim the bonuses. Every now and then, though, users may see special no-deposit offers pop up.
  • Deposit: This is arguably the most common type of sports betting bonus, known as a deposit bonus or “match” bonus. Users fund their online sportsbook accounts, often while including a promo code, and operators match a percentage or all of their deposit. Generally used for new users, deposit bonuses also emerge around holidays or major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.
  • Risk-Free: Risk-free bonuses could apply to new users, to particular events or specific types of bets. In these cases, sportsbooks will refund users’ wagers up to a pre-specified amount. These can also be known as “insurance bonuses” or “cashback.” Whatever it’s called, the end game is the same: If you lose, you get your money back.
  • Odds Boost: Users may see odds boosts listed with other promotions, or there might be a separate area for this bonus altogether. That’s how common they are. With odds boosts, sports betting operators inflating the potential payout of certain bets. While sometimes they can be generous, boosts typically resemble a wager with odds of +240 when they would otherwise sit at +110, for example.

It should be noted that, oftentimes, sportsbooks do not pay out bonuses in cash. Rather, users are more likely to receive site credits or free bets, which cannot be withdrawn right away. Those credits are similar to vouchers for, well, free bets. If those bonuses are used, and bettors win wagers using those credits, then they can withdraw their winnings.

Sometimes, sports betting bonuses come with playthrough or wagering requirements for bonuses in order for users to actually withdraw their winnings. For example, if sportsbooks require a 10x playthrough on a $100 free bet, bettors must wager $1,000 to convert that bonus into withdrawable cash. Bottom line: Read the fine print on the bonuses and special offers.

How can I tell if a Louisiana sportsbook app is legit?

Any sports betting app that legally operates in Louisiana, or any other jurisdiction for that matter, must undergo strict scrutiny before launching.

As in other states, Louisiana requires regulators to test all tech, perform background checks and assess the performance and legitimacy of sports betting sites. They also review companies’ approaches to consumer protection, such as installing safeguards for customer identities and payment methods, as well as responsible gambling.

One of the first things to look for to determine the legitimacy and legality of a Louisiana sports betting app is to look for the official seal of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and/or the Louisiana State Police, which oversees and regulates commercial wagering in the state.

In addition to those seals, users should be able to find a mention of the Louisiana regulatory body mentioned somewhere on the site. The common spot for this is near the bottom of a sports betting app or site. If there’s no seal or no mention of state regulators, the platform is likely not legal.

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

Casino sportsbooks in Louisiana

The 20 licenses carved out by law are 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 online betting site 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.

Popular sports to bet on in Louisiana

When it comes to Louisiana sports betting, users in the state have a plethora of options. Lawmakers have allowed sportsbooks to accept legal wagers on professional and college sports, including in-state teams and programs. Let’s start with what sports you can bet on, highlighting the most popular options in other states and jurisdictions:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NCAA
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Boxing/MMA

As noted, Louisiana sports betting law allows for sportsbooks to accept wagers on in-state teams. That means fans of pro teams such as the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans can cash in on their fandom if they desire.

So, too, can Louisianans bet on the likes of:

  • LSU
  • Tulane
  • Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Louisiana–Monroe
  • Louisiana Tech

Certainly Louisiana betting apps will offer wagering markets surrounding major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness, among other major championships.

As for more special events, the LGCB also included in its sports wagering catalog the Academy Awards (aka the Oscars), the Emmy Awards and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest that takes place every Independence Day.

In addition, regulators will consider approving esports wagering on a case-by-case basis, treating the market as a special event. To have those offers approved, operators must show that the requested event is sanctioned by the Esports Integrity Commission.

How Louisiana sports betting works

Legislation signed by Gov. John Bel 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 online 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 within 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.

If any of the 20 licenses were not claimed by Jan. 1, 2022, fantasy sports operators and video poker facilities can apply.

Tax rates and licensing fees

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

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.

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 fall 2021.

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, began the process of issuing licenses to sports betting operators.

However, a “hiccup” emerged in July 2021, a month after the LGCB’s then-chairman suddenly resigned and a replacement was installed in Ronnie Johns, delaying the rule-making process along the way. Of course, Hurricane Ida caused further delays, as well.

Fortunately, the LGCB reconvened and approved emergency sports betting rules in August, which went into effect four days later. The board then approved permanent rules in September, which the state register should publish in January 2022.

Louisiana sports betting FAQ

State law requires that sportsbooks only accept legal wagers from bettors who are at least 21 years old. In addition, online bets can only be placed within parishes that had voters approve sports betting.

Lawmakers carved out 20 licenses for the following entities, tabbing the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and the state police to oversee the sports betting industry:

  • 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 sports betting apps available in Louisiana.

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.

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, and the first fantasy sports sites launched in time for football season.

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 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

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.