Betting is on in the Bayou.
Retail betting kicked off at a Paragon Casino in October 2021, and two Caesars properties (Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino) joined the fray later in the month. The state hopes to open additional retail sportsbooks in November, but Louisiana online sportsbooks are a work in progress.
Coming soon to 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.
And when regulated wagering begins, bettors in the state will have access to ample welcome bonuses and odds boosts for events, including New Orleans Saints games.
Certainly not all 41 betting apps will launch this NFL season. But the legal betting party could soon begin in Louisiana. In the meantime, new users can sign up early at the following sportsbooks and get a welcome bonus when the state officially launches online betting:
Updated: Oct. 29, 2021
Come Halloween, Louisiana will see its first retail sportsbooks open.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board issued the first licenses to conduct brick-and-mortar sports betting in the Pelican State. Casinos that received said licenses include:
The two Caesars properties, Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino, expect to open their retail sportsbook doors Sunday morning, just in time for the NFC South showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome.
Yes, sports betting is legal in Louisiana. While a firm timetable for launching online sportsbooks has yet to be set, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board has targeted a January 2022 launch for the mobile industry. However, the first commercial retail sportsbooks went live Oct. 31, 2021, with more coming in November. 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 will be able to place legal wagers only within those parishes that approved sports betting.
If all goes according to plan, Louisiana online sports betting will launch by Jan. 1, 2022. The timeline to go live with online sportsbooks includes accomplishing the following tasks:
With a wide-open sports betting market that could 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 give the green light within the next few weeks.
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 legal sports betting. (The two parties made similar efforts a few years earlier that led to voter approval of daily fantasy sports in Louisiana.)
No doubt, other big-name sports betting operators will target Louisiana, including the likes of BetMGM, 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 mobile betting apps that could launch in Louisiana:
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. Soon, DraftKings could become 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.
A product of one of the world’s top casino companies, BetMGM has shown aggressive expansion to states that legalize sports betting. Certainly Louisiana could be on its radar. Through BetMGM, 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.
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 would make all the sense in the world for the company to bring its well-established Caesars Sportsbook app to Louisiana.
One of the biggest lobbyists for bringing legal 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 is on the verge of bringing its clean and simple mobile betting app to the Pelican State.
Other sports betting brands that could set up shop in Louisiana include:
Louisiana sports betting sites make it easy for Pelican State customers to sign up 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. To start, you need a few pieces of information:
From there, simply follow these steps, and you’re on your way to legally betting in Louisiana.
In a wide and competitive market that Louisiana sports betting promises to be, there should emerge some generous bonuses from operators. Some of the more common types include:
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.
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.
For now, if you see a sports betting site accepting wagers in Louisiana, it’s not legal. When regulated betting does launch in the Pelican State, it might be a little more difficult to decipher which apps and sites are legal.
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 will oversee and regulate 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.
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:
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:
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.
When it comes to Louisiana sports betting, users in the state will 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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
Should the 20 licenses not all be claimed by Jan. 1, 2022, fantasy sports operators and video poker facilities can apply.
Sportsbooks in Louisiana will 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.
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.
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:
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:
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.