What types of gambling are legal in Louisiana?
Louisiana offers many forms of legalized gambling. There are casinos with the traditional selection of games, a state lottery, charitable gaming and video poker at taverns and truck stops.
Louisiana’s laws allow parishes, known as counties in other states, to opt out of gaming through local referendum. This includes sports betting, daily fantasy sports and video poker. Typically, about three-quarters of parishes approve gaming expansion.
While sports betting and daily fantasy sports are approved by Louisiana voters, regulations are still not written. This means these forms of legalized betting are not yet available.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Louisiana and where to find it:
- State lottery (retailers)
- Horse racing (live, off-track and mobile)
- Casinos (land, water and reservation-based)
- Video poker (taverns and truck stops, most parishes)
- Sports betting (approved, not yet live)
- Daily fantasy sports (approved, not yet live)
- Bingo and raffles (charities)
Online Gambling in Louisiana
There is only one legal online gambling option in Louisiana. One is off-track betting on horses. Sites like TVG and TwinSpires accept players from the state.
Daily fantasy sports is the other legal online gambling option in Louisiana. The games were approved by voters. However, the state legislature must create the framework for it. This has not happened. The same may be said of sports betting, which was approved by voters in most parishes in 2020. It is unknown if mobile betting will be approved in the final regulations.
Online Gambling Laws in Louisiana
Mobile horse racing is legal through approval by state regulators as it pertains to the Horseracing Act of 1978. Daily fantasy sports contests were approved by voters in 2018 in 47 of 64 parishes. In 2020, legal sports betting enjoyed the same success in 55 of 64 parishes. Neither form of online gambling is live in Louisiana yet. Both require regulations to be written. All online gambling players must be at least 21 years old in Louisiana.
Any form of online gambling that is not explicitly legal and licensed is illegal in Louisiana. It is one of the few states that makes it a crime for residents to play on unlicensed offshore poker, casino and sports betting sites. The fine is up to $500, per state law 14:90.3.
Land-based Casinos in Louisiana
There are three types of casinos in Louisiana. A majority are based on water along the Gulf of Mexico or on rivers or lakes. There are also reservations casinos and a land-based commercial one in downtown New Orleans.
There are no bet or game limits at Louisiana casinos. Craps, roulette, blackjack, poker, slots and video poker are all available.
<LIST OF LOUISIANA CASINOS>
Casino Laws in Louisiana
Casino gambling was created by a 1996 state constitutional amendment. Amendment One allowed for a local referendum at the parish level. It passed by nearly a three to one level. It permitted casinos on water.
Louisiana casinos pay a 26% tax rate. Of that, 4.5% goes to the local jurisdiction. Harrah’s in New Orleans has a separate set of rules, including employment requirements, as an exception to it being on land. Tribal casinos were created through the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Casino players must be at least 21 years old.
Louisiana Sports Betting
Voters approved sports betting in most parishes in 2020. However, the regulations required, including whether mobile betting will be an option, are not yet finalized. This means that sports betting is still technically illegal as there are no licensed operators.
Sports Betting Laws in Louisiana
Louisiana voters approved sports betting in most parishes in 2020. Until the regulations are written, and operators licensed, it is illegal to bet on sports in the state. A fine of up to $500 can be set for online sports bettors that place wagers on unlicensed sites. When sports betting becomes legal, the minimum age will be 21.
Louisiana casinos may offer live poker. There are no bet or game limits. Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven card Stud and mixed games may be dealt. Cash games and tournaments are legal at Louisiana poker rooms.
<LIST OF LOUISIANA POKER ROOMS>
Poker Laws in Louisiana
Poker was legalized in Louisiana through the casino regulations. Poker is only legal in casinos. Players must be at least 21 years old. The tax rate on rake is 26%, of which 4.5% stays in the local jurisdiction.
Home Poker Games
Home poker games and other forms of social gaming are legal under a few conditions. Each participant must have an equal chance of winning. There can be no house fees. The game must not be in public view. In other words, the home poker game must be in a residential or private area. Taverns or other public places may not deal social poker games.
Fantasy Sports in Louisiana
Louisiana fantasy sports contests are up in the air right now. Voters approved the legalization of the games in 2018. However, no regulations have been written yet so there are no licensed sites. Currently, online fantasy sports contests for money are illegal in the state. Social ones are permitted.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Louisiana
There was a parish referendum on fantasy sports contests in November 2018. It passed in 47 of 64 parishes. The state legislature must create regulations for these contests. That has not yet happened. Until it does, commercial fantasy sports contests remain illegal.
The Louisiana Lottery offers typical instant games and lotto drawings. There are dozens of scratch-off tickets ranging from $1 to $10. There are interstate and intrastate lotto drawings. Lottery tickets must be purchased at retailers like convenience stores and taverns. There are no online Louisiana Lottery ticket sales.
Intrastate Lotto Drawings
- Pick 3
- Pick 4
- Easy 5
Interstate Lotto Drawings
- Mega Millions
Louisiana Lottery Laws
The Louisiana Lottery was created through an October 1990 constitutional referendum. It prevailed by a 69 to 31 margin. In October 2003, voters passed a requirement that earmarked lottery revenues towards education. Louisiana Lottery players must be at least 21 years old. This was raised from 18 in 1998.
Louisiana Horse Racing Betting
Louisiana permits horse racing. It is legal to bet on live races, in simulcast off-track betting parlors and on mobile devices. TVG and TwinSpires accept horse bettors in Louisiana.
Louisiana Horse Racing Laws
Louisiana horse racing dates through its entire existence as a state. It became formally regulated in the 1920’s. It expanded to simulcast betting after the federal Interstate Horseracing Act became law in 1978. This later permitted mobile betting. Horse bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Betting on eSports is illegal in Louisiana if it is done commercially, including at offshore sites. It is legal in a social environment.
Traditional Games of Skill
Louisiana does not permit online skill games. This means that Worldwinner and other skill game sites and mobile apps with cash entries refuse players from the state.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines may be operated for money in casinos, taverns and truck stops in parishes that have approved the activity. Machines in casinos may return up to 99.9%. Video gaming operators away from casinos may only return up to 94%. The minimum for each is 80%.
Louisiana Charity Gambling Law
Louisiana charities may operate bingo games and raffles. Bingo may be automated. An organization must be educational, charitable, patriotic or religious to host these games. Video bingo players must be at least 18 years old. Paper bingo and raffle players may be any age.