Louisiana Real Money Online Gambling

In colonial times, Louisiana was once the capital of gambling in America, with historical New Orleans being famous for its permissive attitude toward entertainment in all forms, including a whole lot of gambling. After a long winter as attitudes changed throughout the country, Louisiana has made a comeback and are at least now above average overall in their current attitude toward it, yet there are still miles to travel to live up to their former reputation as well as being guided more by principle and not just public opinion.

As it turns out though, Louisiana is actually pretty open to gambling already, although you do need to look into the matter beyond just accepting common views that are often mistaken. In many states, looking at gambling law is more of an academic exercise than anything, but in Louisiana, this discussion has very meaningful practical applications as far as what we are allowed and not allowed to do in this state.

Many are sitting back and hoping for certain changes, but if there really isn’t a need to wait, where this perception of needed change is not substantiated by the facts, that’s pretty important. Let us show you how things in Louisiana differ from what most people believe.

History of Gambling in Louisiana

Louisiana Online Casinos and SlotsReligion played a big role in American society in the 18th century, in some states more than others. There are states that have been opposed to gambling for religious reasons since they got settled, and some other states that have a history far less influenced by religion.

To show how deeply rooted gambling is in Louisiana, New Orleans started by building the entertainment industry years before they ever got to building a single church. They did get one in 1727, but attendance was low because too many people chose to gamble in the casinos instead.

New Orleans was the gambling capital of the United States during those years, with no other city even coming close. There weren’t any laws against any of this in those days, which does hint at the role of religion in gambling laws, as well as the fact that there aren’t any actual good reasons to make gambling against the law unless you think it is a sin and one deserving incrimination.

The Louisiana government, then a French territory, joined in with a territorial lottery in 1753. Thomas Jefferson bought Louisiana from the French in 1803, in the Louisiana Purchase, but joining a new country didn’t serve to dim Louisiana’s voracious appetite for gambling, in addition to all those who would come from far and wide to gamble there, a Las Vegas of olden days.

In 1868, a group of private citizens formed the Louisiana Lottery and promised large contributions to the state every year for their being able to offer it . As part of this deal, Louisiana ended the legality of all other forms of gambling. It would take quite a long time for casino gambling to return to the state.

Louisiana’s lottery ran afoul of federal legislation passed by Congress in 1890 banning state lotteries. The fact the country looked the other way in the face of this blatantly unconstitutional law, as the federal government does not have the power to do this, well shows how much the tide had turned toward gambling in the country, a process that started much earlier in time.

The Louisiana Lottery chose to fight on, , fleeing to Honduras, and it had a lot to lose being the biggest lottery in America by far from their selling tickets by mail to anyone in the country. The fight ended up becoming too much for them and the lottery was disbanded 3 years later.

Louisiana had to wait until 1923 to enjoy legal gambling again, when betting on horses became approved. The state had to get by on that for almost 70 years until the floodgates to gambling re-opened.

The State Lottery made a comeback in 1991, after a successful referendum. Casino licenses were handed out two years later, 2 land-based ones and 13 riverboat casino licenses. Today, this number has grown to 26, which includes 16 riverboat casinos, 4 racinos, 5 Indian casinos, and 1 land based casino.

This might not quite compare to the glory days of Louisiana’s gambling scene, but it still serves the state pretty well with its numerous places to gamble.

Louisiana Gambling Laws

Gambling law in Louisiana is entirely focused on gambling operators, although there is certainly quite a bit of confusion out there about this. Louisiana gambling law is also very simple. You can’t conduct a game for profit where others risk losing anything of value.

There isn’t much that can even be added to this, as all gambling involves risking things of value. They even focus on the term “game,” which excludes the sort of things that many states feel the need to include as exemptions such as securities trades and insurance contracts.

It’s very easy to see what is left out of this, which is the act of gambling itself. In a single sentence, this law very elegantly sets out with complete clarity what you can and cannot do. The fact that this does not restrict anyone from gambling in Louisiana is a big win though, especially when we consider that online gambling therefore violates no law.

The law wavers a bit when it comes to whether social gambling is prohibited or not, given that these games can at least seen to be conducted by someone, the host perhaps, but the meaning of conduct would require a third party to do it, because players conduct social games together.

There’s plenty to gamble on that is officially sanctioned in Louisiana to really need to worry much about what other options there may be that may be legal, although there are none here other than social gambling because other forms are indeed conducted in the manner the law prohibits.

Real money online gambling at offshore sites aren’t hosted in Louisiana of course, so this means that the potential subject of the breach is not in any way under Louisiana law and could care less about it. The sites that offer play to Louisiana players do so with no regard to whatever Louisiana law may claim because they are in no way subject to it, just like you aren’t subject to the anti-drinking laws of Saudi Arabia while living in Louisiana.

Land-Based Gambling in Louisiana

The Louisiana Lottery was first rolled out all the way back in 1868, and this was a pretty hip lottery, appointing itself America’s lottery essentially by taking orders for their tickets through the mail from people all over the country. It got put out of business but made a comeback in 1991, this time being run by the government itself and not a private company, where the state wanted in on all these profits.

Louisiana’s lottery has been going strong ever since and has added billions to the state’s coffers. They offer both their own games plus access to national lottery games such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

Louisiana also has horse race betting, although betting on dogs isn’t allowed in this state. Louisiana has 4 racetracks, all racinos, with is the combination of race and casino. Evangeline Downs has changed owners many times and even changed locations in its half a century. It is rated #6 in the country among tracks that offer thoroughbred racing. This is more than a racetrack, as it has a 117 room hotel, real money slot machines, and 4 restaurants.

Delta Downs is also owned by Boyd Gaming, and has been around since 1973. Like Evangeline Downs and all racinos in the state in fact, they are only permitted under state law to offer slots, but slots deliver more profit per square foot of casino floor, so this is not so unattractive to operators. Delta Downs has 1,600 slots to go along with the horse racing.

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs opened in 1974. In addition to 130 days a year of live racing, they feature a 150,000 square foot casino along with simulcast racing. The Fair Grounds Race Course is the second-oldest operating racetrack in the country, and has been around since 1838. The number of gaming machines are more modest than the other racinos, but they still have 600 slots in addition to off-track betting.

Louisiana also has 5 Indian casinos. The Coushatta Casino Resort is the largest casino resort in the state. They have 2,800 slots, 70 casino table games, a 20 table poker room, off-track betting, and bingo. There are two hotels totaling 492 rooms, 10 restaurants, and an 18 hole golf course.

The Paragon Casino Resort has 2,100 slot machines, 46 gaming tables, and a poker room, a 500 room hotel, 8 restaurants, 2 bars, a showroom, a conference center, an RV park, chalets, and golf. The Cypress Bayou features 1,000 slots and 38 table games. The Margaritaville Resort Casino has 1,000 slots along with 50 table games, and the Jena Choctaw Pines Casino has 700 slots.

The other land-based casino in Louisiana is Harrah’s New Orleans, which has a 450 room hotel along with 2,100 slot machines, 90 casino table games, and a poker room. The rest and the bulk of Louisiana’s land-based places to gamble are on riverboats, and there are 16 different ones to choose from.

Louisiana’s riverboat casinos offer both slot machines and casino table games. Some are actual riverboats, taking us back in time and providing the additional enjoyment of a river cruise, and others look like Vegas hotels, like the Golden Nugget Lake Charles.

There’s lots of land-based casino gambling in Louisiana to enjoy and while this might not be quite like the old days, it’s still pretty impressive compared to most states.

Due to the passing of a bill to legalize sports betting being approved by voters in 2020, land-based sports betting be coming to most of Louisiana’s parishes, where land-based casinos will be allowed to offer it to the public at their locations.

Louisiana Online Casinos & Slots Gambling

Louisiana chose to pass on any form of real money online gambling in this bill, including the online sports betting that many states included in theirs. In spite of Louisiana being well ahead of the curve with their casinos, the appearance may portray the state as more progressive than it actually is, and they need to become more progressive before we will see them license online gambling.

It’s not even that clear why so many states are more reluctant to participate in online gambling regulation than they are with land-based operations, but it may involve the view that there is a dark side to this and they fear its great expansion. As it always does, Louisiana’s newfound fondness of sports betting is more a fondness of tax revenue, where their reluctance had a price.

Make no mistake, sports betting is big business, and it is probably only a matter of time before they hear the call again, and online sports betting promises them so much more of what they now need more than ever. Gambling certainly has its opponents in this state, including one state senator that has a gambling addiction, but those addicted are the ones that you can count on the most to gamble with just what they have.

Some states have had their opinions swayed by looking at the existing market in their states for online gambling, as opposed to the ones that just pretend it doesn’t exist and they get to decide when to open it, and especially the fact that there is no law at all against Louisianans betting on sports online now or on whatever else they wish to bet on, and many good sites to do it at.

A lot of the information on the internet on what is and isn’t against the law where online gambling is concerned is simply terrible, like people advising that it is against the law to gamble online in Louisiana. These things just get passed around with no one having any understanding or even looking at the law.

There’s nothing in there that makes it against the law to gamble period, and the law is confined to making it a crime to offer commercial gambling without a license. It’s therefore legal to gamble, and that’s exactly what we do when we gamble online.

The funniest part of this mistaken view is that people are told things like they face a stiff penalty if they get caught, as if such a thing were even possible. There just isn’t any way to catch anyone gambling online because all the potential evidence is held in countries that are not subject to Louisiana authority and won’t ever share.

If they shared with Louisiana though, there would have to be a law in existence first before it could be broken, and there is no such law in Louisiana. This is as legal as if Louisiana licensed the gambling themselves, because you can’t go higher than 100%.

There are no legal barriers for Louisianans to engage in real money online gambling, and the only challenge left is to get around the financial barriers that the U.S. government has put into place to limit the field of payment processors that can be used by Americans. Those subject to American law or have a substantial interest in the market risk being charged for processing gambling transactions, which is the reason why means of funding offshore gambling accounts shrunk so much after the passing of the UIGEA all those years ago.

Many became confused when this bill passed, thinking it had something to do with their own activities as players, rather than just being limited to this restricting the number of usable options to transfer money to and from offshore real money gambling sites. You can’t deposit with traditional options like credit cards and internet wallets anymore, but cybercurrency transactions are outside the sphere of influence of this law due to the nature of these methods being beyond the reach of this law. Currencies are not legal persons, you can’t charge Bitcoin with anything no more than you can with trying to put stacks of currency on trial.

If we have the access to gamble online, if it is legal to do so, and if we can use legal means to transact financially with these sites that accept our business, the only barrier that remains is one of a lack of understanding of the process. Once the process is understood, it then comes down to simply making the choice to do it.

Future of Gambling in Louisiana

Louisiana has made considerable progress in going from very little legal gambling to the considerable amount that they have today, and when we combine the access that people in Louisiana have at all the land-based venues that they have with access to the wide variety of offshore gambling sites that serve the needs of the people of Louisiana, there’s lots to gamble on indeed.

There is considerably less room for improvement than may initially meet the eye, and while the great majority of states might improve the reach of their land-based gambling, where licenses are granted based upon market demand and not legislative preference, there’s not a whole lot of potential for this in Louisiana. The goal here needs to be to allow the market to be served, but any progress in this state will be more of the tweaking variety than the much more widespread reforms that many states require to open up their markets.

The goal of the state in real money gambling regulation should never be to seek to restrict gambling for its own sake, relying on a paternal approach that they are not really entitled to if justification counts. We cannot rightly restrict commerce without having a substantial enough reason to do so, and the fact that some people think that they should have a say in what we spend our money on in itself counts for nothing, or at least should not if the law is not used to legitimize and prosecute these disagreements.

The market is pretty well served in Louisiana, in contrast to the egregious approach taken in some states who seek to use the power of the law to prevent voluntary and informed transactions between parties that would otherwise be valid under contract law if not for the legal prohibitions. We need to be careful to use the force of law to legitimately prevent and litigate harm, actual harm and not just take sides on matters of dispute based upon personal preferences where the objectors lack standing, meaning it is not their place to decide these things.

If we choose to engage in a game of poker, at a public poker room for instance, we need to ask by what authority others not engaged whose who do not like to play poker might even suggest they should have a say in this. What happens, by extension, is that if the protests become loud enough, this ends up becoming law, due to the preference of legislators catering to the demands of their electorate, legitimate or not. We need to be guided based upon principles that are weightier than just wanting to cater to those who object without the color of right and merely based upon the number of those who forward these illegitimate claims.

Louisiana has quite a bit left to do here, in spite of how relatively progressive they appear. Once Louisiana elevates itself to a better understanding of this, as some states have already done, when they truly commit to assisting gamblers in their state by engaging in regulation rather than requiring their people to have their gambling regulated in far flung jurisdictions, they will be finally doing their job.

While this will not have a material effect on the access that their players currently enjoy, it will at least serve to eliminate the confusion that is out there about it among the gambling public, where many to this day mistakenly believe that they do not have free access to offshore gambling sites on demand.

Our readers suffer from no such handicap as we do not suffer from the bias that those opposed to online gambling do, where we are not out to misinform the public and instead present the facts. Given that there are no prohibitions or restrictions on online gamblers in this state, we also take it upon ourselves to go a step further and present recommendations based upon our analysis to assist players who do want to partake in real money online gambling, which we invite you to take advantage of.

Given that the Louisiana government does not wish to assist you here, to seek to ensure that the sites that you gamble at are of a high enough standard, someone needs to do it, to step up and steer Louisiana gamblers in the right direction. We are glad to do it.

Louisiana Online Slots & Casinos FAQs
  • How long have the people of Louisiana had gambling?

    New Orleans hit the ground running and has had gambling since its earliest days. The sheer amount of gambling that went on in this city in the old days was on a much bigger scale than elsewhere in the country at the time. Louisiana being a French territory at the time certainly didn’t hurt, a country where casinos had been around for a long time already. Gambling was king back then in this state.

  • Is it against the law to gamble in Louisiana?

    Many are surprised to learn that there is no law at all against gambling in Louisiana. The only thing against the law as far as gambling goes is offering commercial gambling. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds if the idea here is to restrict gambling, and this works extremely well in achieving the state’s goal of keeping away gambling operations without the state’s consent.

  • Why does leaving gamblers out of this law make a lot of sense?

    The goal of this law was to seek to prevent casinos and other gambling establishments to operate without a license. Given that the state does license casinos, where people gamble, it’s not the gambling that they object to, it’s the operation of gambling that they wish to limit. The current law accomplishes the objective completely, where seeking to charge players as well would go beyond the law’s intent.

  • Does Louisiana permit social gambling?

    Since you can gamble legally, players in Louisiana may gamble with each other, provided that everyone’s role is limited to just being one of the gamblers and have no other financial stake in the game. While we might think that the host of the game could somehow be deemed to be conducting it, conducting here means benefiting from the game beyond one’s winnings, especially when those conducting the game are not one of the participants.

  • What land-based gambling options does Louisiana have?

    Louisiana has the lottery back after many years of absence, providing an appetizer for an extensive number of other options to gamble in the state. Louisiana has 4 horse race tracks that all offer a very good number of slots to go with it. There are also 22 full-service casinos offering both slots and casino table games, with some of them also being impressively sized resorts.

  • Has Louisiana approved sports betting?

    In an effort to better compete with nearby states, and to seek to increase the state’s revenue, Louisiana passed a bill in 2020 to allow for its state’s land-based gambling operations to offer in-person sports betting. This required a referendum to pass, and state voters approved it in the November election. Louisiana approves these things by parish, and the great majority of parishes have said yes to sports betting.

  • Does Louisiana have regulated online gambling yet?

    States have often been including online sports betting in their sports betting bills, but Louisiana wasn’t quite up for it, and view land-based sports betting preferentially right now. Perhaps they may worry too much about more people betting on sports if they let them do it online, but people in Louisiana can already do that. There really isn’t much interest in an online gambling bill in Louisiana right now.

  • What are the chances of Louisiana opening up its gambling market more?

    There are some states that are many years away from any significant improvement in their view of gambling, but Louisiana isn’t one of them. They did manage to get themselves on the sports betting bandwagon, even though they only took a partial share. The land-based gambling market is well stocked now, and it’s probably just a matter of time before they get their feet wet with online gambling regulation.

  • Is it against the law to gamble at real money online gambling sites in Louisiana?

    It’s simply not against the law to gamble at anything in Louisiana. Anything does include online gambling. The sites that Louisianans have been gambling at for decades are not located in Louisiana, so they aren’t subject to Louisiana’s law against gambling operations. There’s just nothing to charge you with here, and they can’t charge the sites either because the laws of their own countries are the ones that apply, where operating a gambling site is not only legal but licensed.

  • Where can Louisianans go to enjoy real money online gambling?

    For those who wish to enjoy real money online gambling now and not years from now have very ample opportunity to do it at a number of first class real money gambling sites. Whether you prefer sports betting, or poker against other players, or any of the numerous casino games out there, including all manners of slots, table games, lottery games, keno, even real money bingo, it’s all waiting for you. We’ll show you where the best ones are.

Chief Editor: Mike leverages his true passion for online gambling to create a uniquely informative site that takes players well beyond the standard fare in the industry.

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