Another state has taken the plunge and rolled out legal online sports betting. After a long waiting period following an intense round of debates on the subject, Louisiana had six online sportsbooks go live throughout the state on Friday, January 28. This is obviously a huge step for the entire state for so many reasons. But there are some stipulations and long-term ramifications worth analyzing. And it just so happens that's why we're here.
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It's official folks: Online sports betting is legal in Louisiana. For the most part. With legal sports betting in the USA inching toward becoming the new standard for each state, Louisiana has joined the fold just in time to start off the 2022 fiscal year on a strong and lucrative note.
Of course, nothing is certain when it comes to the rollout of legal online sports betting. Louisiana had six sportsbooks go live to the public as of Friday, January 28. There will be kinks and hiccups to address and monitor. Also: Legal online sports betting is not available throughout the entire state. Certain regions rejected the implementation, and it still isn't clear whether in-person sports betting will be legalized in Louisiana without exceptions.
With so much still at stake and unknown, we've put together a list of the most frequently asked questions and provided our best answers to each query. Let's hit it!
Why Did Louisiana Legalize Online Sports Betting?
It is not by chance that legal mobile sports betting is officially live in Louisiana. The state first proposed a bill to greenlight online sports gambling back in February 2020—nearly two full years ago.
From there, Louisiana went through various stages of the approval process. Then, in the summer of 2021, this sports betting bill was finally signed into law. It was then that Louisiana hit the ground running. It can take more than a year to give out sportsbook licenses and set up and beta test the necessary website systems. Louisiana, however, approved a set of emergency guidelines that were signed into effect immediately and tore through their to-do list in hopes of having an online infrastructure set up to start 2022.
It's no mystery as to why, either. Louisiana wanted to capitalize on all the NFL playoff betting and Super Bowl betting in 2022. By going live across most regions of the state, they have ensured they'll gain revenue from odds on the NFL conference championships and odds on the 2022 NFL Super Bowl.
What Restrictions Does Louisiana Have on Mobile Sports Betting?
Mobile sports betting, as it turns out, is not legal across the entire state of Louisiana. Among 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 55 approved the new sports betting bill and agreed to sign it into law. While that was enough for Louisiana to move forward with mobile sports betting, they cannot force individual regions to adopt the majority policy.
Placing online sports bets will instead be disallowed across these nine parishes: Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll, and Winn. Mobile sportsbooks will use geographical tracking data to determine whether users are in a zone that allows transactions to be placed. If it senses that you're in one of the nine parishes that haven't approved mobile sports betting, you must travel to a region within the state where it's legal to submit your online wager.
This no doubt comes as a bummer to residents of the counties, cities, towns, etc. that don't allow mobile sports betting. But it's only a minor roadblock. Since so much of the state has legalized mobile sports betting, prospective gamblers shouldn't need to go very far in order to access one of the state-licensed sportsbooks.
Which Online Sportsbooks have Licensed in Louisiana?
Just because Louisiana has legalized online sports betting doesn't mean you can place wagers with just any old operation.
As of now, six sportsbooks are part of Louisiana's initial launch: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Barstool Sports, Caesars, and BetRivers. It is expected that the state will add more online sportsbook licenses shortly. You can also check out our reviews of the top online sportsbooks to see whether you can access and use any of them from Louisiana.
It isn't yet clear how long it will take for Louisiana to add more online sportsbooks to their portfolio of licensed bookies. But the good news is they have approved some of the most popular online-betting destinations in the United States, so the user experience should be pretty friendly.
Is Retail Sports Betting Legal in Louisiana?
This is perhaps the most important question of all. Does legal online betting mean that Louisiana has or will approve in-person sports betting?
The answer is complicated. It's a yes. And it's a no.
Louisiana has actually already allowed retail sports-betting operators to set up shop across select casinos in the state. This basically means that you can go to any casino located outside the nine parishes that haven't approved online sports betting and place a wager at their physical location.
That said, Louisiana has not followed the likes of places such as Arizona, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and many others. Pop-up sportsbooks have become popular at these locations. You can find vestibules and booths at sporting stadiums and arenas and place in-person bets while attending professional sports competitions. Louisiana does yet offer that option.
The good news? On-site sports betting should be arriving in Louisiana shortly. They've already made strides to legalize online sports betting and sports gambling within casinos. Setting up physical sportsbooks inside stadiums and arenas is the natural next step.
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find a home for all your mobile sports betting: