Louisiana Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

Did you think that Louisiana is only known for great food and Mardi Gras? Think again — it’s also known for its well-regulated gambling industry. People from all over the South come to the Bayou State to eat in casino restaurants and gamble on riverboats with almost all forms of gambling being illegal in neighbouring Arkansas and Texas.

Louisiana permits almost all forms of gambling. It hosts horse racing, lottery, charitable gaming, off-track betting, and full-scale casinos. With over 21 casinos, there are plenty of gambling establishments to choose from. Almost half of the counties legalized video poker at taverns, bars, and truck stops.

This article is a detailed breakdown of the gambling laws in Louisiana. We outlined what forms of gambling are legal in the Sugar State and shared a few recommendations on the best gambling options for Louisiana natives.

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Gambling Laws in Louisiana — The Law Overview

The Louisiana Criminal Law governs whether gambling is illegal, and determines which types of gambling are allowed and under which terms and conditions. Most forms of gambling are allowed in Louisiana, with the exception of greyhound racing and online gambling.

At the federal level, The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act regulates all gambling activities on Tribal land. To fully understand the gambling landscape in Louisiana, let’s take a look at the specifics from Louisiana Revised Statutes, section 14:90 et seq. and 27:201 et seq that covers most gambling-related matters.

Louisiana Revised Statutes

According to the Louisiana Revised Statutes, anyone who engages in illegal online gambling will be legally prosecuted. Gambling in the state is defined as ‘the intentional conducting, or directly assisting in the conducting, as a business of any game, context, lottery, or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit’. Gambling is further defined as:

‘’Whoever commits the crime of gambling shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both’’. And if that weren’t severe enough, the authorities are also required to destroy any devices that can be allegedly used as an instrument of said crime, after a perpetrator is convicted.

Of course, this page of the law pertains to illegal forms of gambling. What’s unique about Louisiana laws is that poker is classified as a gambling game, and gambling over the web is explicitly banned.

While there are harsh penalties for organizers of casino games, players are rarely targeted under Louisiana Statues. Residents of the state are presented with a plethora of gambling opportunities — what the code implies is that, should anyone steps outside of these licensed boundaries, they can expect severe punishments.

Unlike most other states in the US, Louisiana has shown to be dead serious about going after organizations they consider to be violating their codes — including heavy hitters of the gambling industry.

What Forms of Gambling Are Allowed?

All the popular casino games can be found in Louisiana casinos, including blackjack, poker, roulette, slot machines, and craps. There are three types of casinos in Louisiana — commercial casinos, tribal casinos, and riverboat casinos. A riverboat in Louisiana refers to anything floating in the water. This includes numerous riverboats consisting of vast structures on anchored barges near the shore. Gambling on commercial cruise ships that travel across international waters (above 12 miles offshore) is also legal in Louisiana.

Louisiana has a state lottery that was founded in 1991, and revenue from this form of gambling is directly invested in the state’s educational system. The lottery games available are Power-ball, numbers drawing, and scratch off tickets.

Video poker is offered at casinos and racetracks, as well as at a variety of gas stations, restaurants, truck stops and bars. In Louisiana, owning a liquor license gives you the right to offer up to three video gaming machines. And, depending on the amount of fuel they sell, truck stops can operate even more video poker machines.

Pari-mutuel betting is allowed at racetracks. Louisiana residents can also gamble on billiards games that are also considered a game of skill. Betting on sports, pool games, and personal betting is legal as long as no one takes a fee or a ‘cut’ for managing the transaction. Greyhound racing has been outlawed in the state.

Social gambling is allowed as long as it’s for recreational purposes, and not for business purposes. Charity gambling includes raffles, bingo, and keno games that are directly associated with charitable fund-raising for nonprofit organizations.

Online gambling is deemed illegal in Louisiana. Here’s an instance from Louisiana Revised Statutes that addresses online gambling:

“Gambling by computer is the intentional conducting, or directly assisting in the conducting as a business of any game, contest, lottery, or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit when accessing the Internet, World Wide Web, or any part thereof by way of any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, or any server.

Whoever commits the crime of gambling by computer shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.”

We are yet to hear about an individual who has been arrested for gambling online in Louisiana. The state’s law is more focused on taking down the operators of illegal online casinos. Our advice is to be cautious and obey the law, regardless of the jurisdiction. Although online gambling is usually low on authorities’ radar, taking part in such activity still presents considerable risk.

Where to Gamble in Louisiana?

Louisiana residents are spoilt with choice when it comes to gambling opportunities. There are several land-based Indian casinos in Louisiana, as well as a couple of casinos located at pari-mutuel facilities offering only slots. What’s more, you can try your luck at some of the riverboat casinos that are open 24/7. Let’s check out the three most popular gambling choices for Louisiana natives.

Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel

Located at 103 France St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802, Belle of Baton Rouge is one of the finest riverboat casinos in Louisiana. It offers a full range of casino gaming services, from slot machines to craps and roulette tables. The establishment also offers a plethora of rewarding promotions, as well as top-notch gifts for everyone who wants to try out their luck at this remarkable venue.

Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel

If you’re looking for an elite casino to play at while in Louisiana, we recommend Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel, owned by the Chitimacha tribe. Only a 6-minute drive from U.S. Highway 90 and seven miles from Franklin, this upscale casino and hotel provides an all-in-one place for gamblers of all tastes. Slots lovers will particularly enjoy it here, as the slots offerings feature everything — from classic reels and old school favourites to the latest video slots. Make sure to stop by Club Cypress when you visit the place to become a member of their VIP club. You can enjoy benefits such as free play offers, special discounts, monthly mailers, and more!

Boomtown New Orleans

Boomtown is the largest riverboat casino in Southeast Louisiana. Located only 15 minutes from the French Quarter, this first-class gaming establishment offers 24/7 fun, entertainment, dining, and gaming promotions. There is even a poker room that features jackpots, tournaments, and the lowest rake in the town. The games offered include Omaha Hi, No-Limit Hold’em, and Texas Hold’em. Slots aficionados are not forgotten, as the Boomtown casino floor boasts over 1,400 of the hottest slots and video poker games.

FAQ

Are casinos legal in Louisiana?

Yes, casinos are legal and available in Louisiana throughout the entire state. Riverboats are particularly popular among the residents of Louisiana. Apart from riverboats, Louisiana residents can play casino games at tribal casinos and pari-mutuel facilities.

Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?

Louisiana only allows pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.

What games can you gamble on in Louisiana?

You can gamble on lottery, off-track betting, horse racing, charitable gaming, and all offered casino games.

Are all Louisiana casinos located in the water?

No, there are several land-based casinos in Louisiana, including six tribal casinos.

Are daily fantasy sports legal in Louisiana?

No, daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings are illegal in Louisiana.

What is the minimum gambling age in Louisiana?

It’s 18 for bingo and 21 for lottery, video poker, and casino games.