The Journey of Online Sports Betting in Louisiana
Sports betting is still illegal in LA, however lawmakers began to introduce sports betting legislation in 2019 as a part of daily fantasy sports bills. Sports betting was set to be a major point of discussion by lawmakers in Louisiana in 2020, but the Coronavirus pandemic has cut their session short as of now. The only form of sports betting that is currently legal is betting on horse or greyhound events at horse tracks.
There are currently five sports betting bills on the table that lawmakers want to present to the assembly. The bills are LA SB66, LA SB130, LA SB332, LA HB357, and LA SB378.
All the bills are currently in their very early stages, and it’s unclear how much discussion will take place surrounding each bill. It’s unlikely that online sports betting in Louisiana will be part of the discussion as there are still laws prohibiting gambling with a computer. If there are any updates regarding the progress of online sports betting in the state, you will be able to follow them here.
How to Gamble Legally at a Casino in Louisiana
In Louisiana, all casino gambling must be done at a brick-and-mortar location, with the city of New Orleans being home to 5 of the state’s 53 casinos. All online gambling is illegal, which eliminates the opportunity for online casino betting in the state. Gambling at casinos in LA brings in more than $2.4 billion in revenue every year, but all of that is generated on-site.
Are We Far from Legalizing Online Casinos in Louisiana?
While lawmakers have spent some time trying to legalize sports betting in the Creole State, they haven’t spent any trying to create a law to allow online casinos. With the strict online gambling laws in the state Constitution, it’s very unlikely that legislators will change anything anytime soon.
Religious groups in Louisiana continue to fight against the expansion of gambling, and that has a huge impact on legislators. Gambling at online casinos in LA is not on the cards anytime soon, but if this changes, you will be able to find updates on this page.
Where to Play Poker in Louisiana
If you are wondering if you can play poker online in Louisiana, then the answer is no, but poker is legal in the state. There are more than 10 live poker rooms in LA, with the state having a very deep and rich history when it comes to this card game. You can find the poker rooms in casinos throughout the state, but they can’t offer poker at online sites.
Is Online Poker Legal in Louisiana?
The closest thing you can get to playing poker online for money in the Creole State is to visit a location that has video poker machines. While you still need to gamble in person, it is a little bit different than visiting a live poker room.
Video poker machines started to make an appearance in Louisiana in the 1980s, and state lawmakers deemed that they were a problem. The state passed a law in 1991 so it could regulate the industry and bring in tax revenue from these poker machines. Since LA allows players to play poker at brick-and-mortar locations, there is a good chance that the online version will be a part of any gambling legislation to regulate online casinos.
If there are any attempts to change Louisiana’s online poker laws, you will be able to track them here.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Legal in Louisiana?
Daily fantasy sports laws in LA are a bit confusing, but fantasy sports betting is illegal in the state. In 2018, 47 parishes passed a ballot initiative to legalize daily fantasy sports, but lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement to launch the industry. Top DFS operators worked hard to get the initiative passed, but they couldn’t do much when it came to convincing lawmakers.
The Progress of Daily Fantasy Sports in Louisiana
In 2018, DraftKings and FanDuel created a campaign worth more than $1 million to get a ballot initiative passed to legalize DFS. Forty-seven of the 64 parishes in Louisiana voted to approve it, but that didn’t mean that the industry was going to be open to the state’s residents.
The next step was for legislators to present a Louisiana Bill for daily fantasy sports in the House or Senate. They proposed three initial bills to tax and regulate the industry.
They introduced House Bills 459, 495, and 500 after the votes from the different parishes. House Bills 495 and 500 also included language that introduced sports betting as well.
All three bills advanced through the House but fell short in the Senate. Despite well over half of the residents in Louisiana being in favor of legalizing daily fantasy sports, it appears that it will have to wait until 2021 at the earliest. You can follow the progress of the legalization of DFS in Louisiana here on this page.
Playing the Lottery in Louisiana
The state founded the Louisiana Lottery Corporation in 1991 after lawmakers proposed legislation to create a government-regulated lottery. After lawmakers passed a constitutional amendment in 1990, they created this corporation. Louisiana is unique in that an outside organization runs its lottery, while most other states’ governments run their own.
In 2003, voters agreed that all revenue from the state lottery would go to fund public education. There are several lottery games listed on the website, but there is no way to play them online. The lottery does not sell any tickets online in LA, but customers can check their tickets and the winning numbers on the official website.
Since the state established the Louisiana Lottery Corporation solely to operate the lottery, they don’t have any other power. The Governor of Louisiana oversees the LLC, but there is also a board of directors that makes decisions.
Other Important Facts About Gambling in Louisiana
The minimum gambling age in Louisiana is 18 years of age for betting on racing or other charitable games. The legal gambling age for casinos and to play the state lottery is 21.
Organized gambling traces back to 1753, when the federal government ran a casino in the state. When lawmakers introduced a ban on all casinos in the US in 1812, the ones in the Creole State were exempt.
The first Louisiana lottery began in 1866 and lasted until 1893 when the state repealed the law and shut down the operation. It wasn’t until 1929 that Louisiana legalized another form of gambling when they allowed bets on horse races to take place.
State law requires casinos to be located on the water, with only 7 exempt from this. There are six tribal casinos on land, and Harrah’s in New Orleans which is not on the water.
Louisiana imposes a 26% tax rate on all gross revenue that the casinos generate.
The Future of Online Gambling in Louisiana
Even though Louisiana has some extremely strict laws when it comes to online gambling, there have been recent efforts to change that. Lawmakers nearly legalized daily fantasy sports in 2019, and other forms of gambling are currently on the table. The state’s legislators will continue to work hard to find ways to expand the gambling industry.