Home to one of the biggest party cities in the United States, Louisiana recognizes that gambling is a revenue stream they cannot ignore, but since 2018 they have been a bit hesitant when it comes to the subject.
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In May 2020, two new gambling bills were passed that would legalize sports betting in Louisiana. The bills were sent to the House of Representatives and voted on in November, with the vast majority of Louisiana's 64 parishes approving a ballot to measure "sports wagering activities and operations."
Now in 2021, Louisiana residents could start betting on sports events as early as the fall, as wagering regulations may be dropped with the final legislative passage right around the corner. The House and the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to a separate measure that contains the lottery rules and sets the tax rate for sports betting.
Senate Bill 130 was sponsored by Senator Cameron Henry and is to allow for the topic of sports betting to be voted on in November 2020, and each parish would be allowed to decide whether they want sports betting in their area.
Senate Bill 378 establishes the rules and regulations for when sports betting is launched in the state but has no mention of online sports betting, just mobile betting offered by the casinos, while in the casinos only - not at home. This bill also allows for betting on college sports and the Olympics as well.
Sports betting would fit in well with the gambling offerings in the state, as they have plenty of horse and dog racing, casinos, and not to mention their booming sports industries. You can find horse and dog racing tracks easily in Louisiana, and some even have betting stations where you can gamble socially. Many states try to regulate all forms of gambling so it’s unique to find a state that doesn’t attempt this – because it is one of those difficult things to regulate.
The state of Louisiana has nine land-based casinos and racinos in city centers like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Bossier City. These casinos are tribally owned and there is a zero percent chance the laws will change to house a commercial casino. There are also riverboat casinos that sail out of state waters where gambling cannot be regulated.
Poker is only legal inside casino walls. Though this doesn’t include online poker, which is nearly impossible to regulate, like online sports betting, so this law can be interpreted with a grain of salt.
Can I Bet on Sports In Louisiana?
You sure can – at an online sportsbook.
As mentioned, online betting is totally legal. There are so few options when it comes to regulating it, and Louisiana is in the group of states that will be legalizing sports betting in the very near future, so sports betting will be available soon anyway.
The state isn’t able to regulate offshore sportsbooks, so aside from blocking sites from Louisiana IPs, there isn’t much they can do.
Online sportsbooks are the best way to bet on sports in Louisiana, and trustworthy sites like Bovada or BetOnline are fast, user-friendly, and totally legal in the state. Better yet, you can bet from the comfort of your own home with your smartphone or laptop.
While Louisiana is home to nearly two dozen casinos total, many of which are riverboat casinos that aren’t state-regulated, allowing bettors to sail out of state-owned waters to place unregulated wagers.
- Amelia Belle Riverboat Casino
- Belle of Baton Rouge Riverboat Casino
- Boomtown Bossier City Riverboat Casino
- Diamond Jacks Casino Bossier City
- Eldorado Shreveport Riverboat Casino
- Flamingo Casino New Orleans
- Golden Nugget Lake Charles
- Harrah’s Lake Charles Riverboat Casino
- Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge
- Horseshoe Bossier City Riverboat Casino
- Isle of Capri Casino Lake Charles
- L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles
- L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge
- Margaritaville Resort Casino
- Sam’s Town Shreveport Riverboat Casino
- Showboat Star Casino in New Orleans
- Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner
Many of the land-based casinos in Louisiana are racinos, which means they have both casino games and horse racing.
- Delta Downs Racino in Vinton
- Evangeline Downs in Opelousas
- Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans
- Harrah’s Louisana Downs in Bossier City
- Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder
- Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton
- Jena Choctaw Pines Casino in Dry Prong
- Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville
- Harrah’s Casino New Orleans
Betting on Louisiana Sports Teams
The main team in the state of Louisiana is the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. They’ve had a few dicey years but this year is looking strong and ready for the playoffs. With Drew Brees still at the helm, the 2009 Super Bowl champions are looking for a second championship, and their dominating offensive squad will keep racking up the points for years to come.
The New Orleans Pelicans are the only NBA team in the state. They joined the league in 2002 as the Hornets, and have yet to win a championship. They only have a few postseason appearances, but with Brandon Ingram and newly acquired rising star Zion Williamson, they may have a chance in the coming seasons.
Louisiana is home to plenty of collegiate teams in both football and basketball, but the Louisiana State University Fighting Tigers are the coveted team in football. LSU has made a Bowl game appearance every year for the past 20 years and celebrated that milestone by winning the College Football National Championship this year, becoming the reigning 2020 Champions. This most recent win is their fourth championship.
Louisiana Sports Betting Timeline
Louisiana took a long time to get there, with plenty of conflicts along the way. But finally in 2021, the state decided to legalize sports betting. Let's take a look at how we got there.
2018-2019: Frustrations And Little Progress
Sports betting legalization has a strong ally in Lousiana, and his name is Senator Dany Martiny. In March 2018, he introduced SB 266 to legalize sports betting in the state.
Neither this bill, nor the very similar bill that he introduced in 2019 got very far. A few committees and then done. Even though in 2019, the bill passed the Senate, it did not make it out of the House.
2020-2021: A New Path Towards Legalization
The route to letting the legislature decide to legalize sports betting did not seem to be working. It was time to get creative. In June 2020, the Governor signed Act No. 215 into law.
Rather than directly legalizing sports betting, it allowed for a voter referendum on the subject. A whopping 55 of 64 parishes decided to give sports betting the green light.
It is not up to the legislature to decide on the details of the legalization. This should be done in the 2021 session, so expect licenses to be going out soon!
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Louisiana
When picking a sportsbook, you want to ensure you do your research. Some sportsbooks can be untrustworthy and some aren’t as secure as the top sportsbooks out there, so making sure you understand how they work, their deposit options, if they’re mobile-friendly, etc, can really help you in the long run.
Making the best decision based on your betting needs – if you have to use a certain deposit option, or want big bonuses or promotions, or if you want to bet from your smartphone, these are all things to consider as not all online sportsbooks are the same. We have compiled a list of the top sportsbooks to use in Louisiana, and we’ve reviewed and outlined important facts and notes about each to educate bettors. Check them out here: