Sports betting in Louisiana is a reality. The first bets were placed on Oct. 6, 2021, ushering in a new era down on the bayou, or at least the 55 of 64 parishes that have made it legal.
Both online and retail sportsbooks are coming to the Pelican State. Although there will be plenty of retail locations around, online books are going to be the star of the show. The only excepted areas are the nine parishes that did not approve sports betting inside their borders. Everyone else will be able to take advantage of Louisiana online sportsbook welcome bonuses. Companies with names like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, and Golden Nugget are all expected to develop a sports wagering presence in Louisiana.
This new bit of gambling should go over well. Between the LSU Tigers, the Superdome hosting Super Bowls and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the New Orleans Pelicans, and, obviously, the Who Dat New Orleans Saints, Louisiana is a hotbed for sporting events. Louisiana is also home to hundreds of gambling locations, including casinos, video poker lounges, racetracks, and off-track betting venues.
UPDATED: Oct. 12, 2021
Retired New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn placed the first legal sports bet in Louisiana – a seven-team parlay, of all things – at the Paragon Casino Resort’s BetFred sportsbook.
“Our partnership with Betfred Sports marks a new chapter for Paragon – which has always been a source of pride for Marksville and the people of Louisiana,” Paragon Casino Resort general manager Marshall Sampson, Sr., said in a release. “With this new partnership, I hope visitors from across the region will have the chance to experience it for themselves. Together, we are offering a first-class sports betting platform and venue that will make Paragon Casino Resort the place to bet and watch games in Louisiana.”
“I’ve never seen such interest in something than I’ve seen in sports betting,” Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, told KATC.
Johns said it could be months before mobile sports betting is available. The Louisiana Lottery speculates that betting kiosks in restaurants and bars might be operational until January.
“Mobile takes longer because the casinos use outside vendors to do that work, and those vendors haven’t been licensed yet, so they have to go through the suitability process and background checks with the State Police,” Johns told KATC.
Yes. Sports betting is legal and underway in Louisiana, albeit in-person for now. Sports betting became legal in the Pelican State after voters in each parish (analogous to a county in another state) voted on the following question:
“Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in [parish]?”
Sports betting would have become legal if even one of the 64 parishes had received a majority of “yes” votes. As it turned out, voters approved in 55 parishes. Thus, sportsbooks could conceivably appear in the majority of Louisiana’s territory. In fact, none of the nine parishes that voted the measure down contain significant gambling venues or population, and most of them are contiguous parishes in the northeast portion of the state.
The nine parishes that did not support legal sports betting are:
So, in the areas where gambling is part of daily life, Louisianans do not have to worry about missing out on sports betting.
Absolutely. In fact, the law allows for twice as many online sportsbooks in Louisiana as it does retail books. All 20 of Louisiana’s casinos and racinos are permitted to offer sports betting, both in live and online settings. However, the law allows each venue to host as many as two skins — sportsbook brands that operate independently of one another but are attached to the same land-based partner. So, by law, there could be as many as 40 different online sportsbooks active in Louisiana, although it’s doubtful that the state’s population can support so many sites.
October 6, 2021. Now that the 2021 NFL season is underway, every principal involved in Louisiana sports betting — from lawmaker to regulator to bookmaker — wants to conserve as much of the football season as fodder for wagering. However, with each licensee granted two skins, retail is almost certain to be relegated to second priority in the state’s sports betting industry, both in terms of revenue and in terms of numbers.
As we mentioned, some of the top names in sports betting are on their way to Louisiana. Based upon the different casinos, operations, and recent market access deals, here are a few words on each sportsbook on its way to the Pelican State.
Barstool is the home brand for Penn National Gaming sports betting. Penn National, in turn, owns a whopping six properties in Louisiana. There is no doubt that Barstool Sportsbook is in Louisiana’s future. It’s hard to say if Penn will put a Barstool retail book in every single one of its Louisiana addresses, but it’s definitely a possibility.
BetFred Sports is, admittedly, one of the more surprising members of the group of sportsbooks certain to enter Louisiana. Its retail space at the Paragon Casino Resort is in a casino owned and operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. In addition, there’s no question that BetFred will be one of Paragon’s two sportsbook skins in the state once online sports betting goes live.
BetMGM is certain to come to Louisiana because of its longstanding partnership with Boyd Gaming, which owns several casino locations in the Pelican State. BetMGM Sportsbook is one of the finest sports betting apps in the world, and it offers tremendous bet flexibility to all of its bettors onsite. Its Edit My Bet feature, in particular, allows a greater degree of control over open bets than you can find elsewhere.
Caesars Sportsbook is the sports betting brand that encompasses both the existing operations at Caesars and the company’s relatively-newly acquired assets from sportsbook titan William Hill. Either way, Caesars owns three different properties in Louisiana and is certain to place its retail sportsbooks in those facilities. A Caesars Sportsbook app for the rest of the state is a no-brainer.
DraftKings does not have an immediate inroad to the market in Louisiana — its deal with Penn National did not include access to the Pelican State. However, given the company’s penchant for being one of the first to market in most states, it’s unlikely that the black-and-green company is anything but a shoo-in for offering its services in Louisiana. Either it will negotiate an extra allowance from Penn National, or it will seek to expand its deal with Casino Queen, which is buying two properties in Louisiana. DK may even approach one of the tribal casinos about a deal. Regardless, the company’s commitment to the state is already ensconced in its daily fantasy sports licensure, so a sports betting launch is more of a formality than anything else.
FanDuel has an existing deal with Boyd Gaming and has already partnered with Boyd to launch a sportsbook in Illinois. Boyd owns three of the riverboat casinos in Louisiana and will likely want to have a top sportsbook brand on promos for each one of them. In addition, FanDuel is a chief provider of gaming to Louisiana in the form of the newly-legalized daily fantasy sports contests.
Golden Nugget Sportsbook is one of the lesser sportsbook offerings in the US at this stage of the industry. The company’s online casino is a far bigger success story, comparatively. However, since Golden Nugget Lake Charles is likely the best casino in southeast Louisiana, it figures to add an online sportsbook to its Louisiana portfolio. DraftKings recent purchase of Golden Nugget Online Gaming may turn the retail book into a DraftKings locale.
The Australian sports betting company has made a big splash into the US in the past few years. Its market access deal with Penn National specifically reserves a spot in Louisiana, and there’s no doubt that the company intends to capitalize on the arrangement.
WynnBet announced its market access in Louisiana on Sept. 30. The app is known for its simple array of bet types and odds boosts. The partnership with Caesars allows them access in New Jersey among other states, including Louisiana.
If you’ve ever bet on sports in a live sportsbook before, you might be wondering about the differences between that experience and the one you’ll have online. For the most part, things will be the same. One big difference, however, is the prevalence of bonuses and free bets. Because the competition is only a button away, online sportsbooks have to exert more effort to pull you into their app and keep you happy.
Bonuses give you the opportunity to bet more on the sportsbook’s dime. They typically offer you site credits or free bets to play. Site credits function like normal money but are only usable on the app. Free bets are vouchers for bets of a certain denomination. You will be unable to cash out the value of your bonus until you’ve wagered a certain multiple of the bonus amount. This requirement is called the playthrough or wagering requirement, and you need to understand the terms of each bonus’ requirement before you accept the offer.
There are a few common types of bonuses that you will find as you play on a sportsbook app. For the most part, none of them are better or worse than the others — they just reward you in different ways. It is rare to find a bonus that does not fit into one of the categories below.
Also known as: Welcome bonus, although a welcome bonus might be a blanket term for the app’s entire package of introductory offers
The no deposit bonus is the method that many sportsbooks use to get your attention for the first time. They are bonuses that literally put site credits into your account for free. The only thing that you have to do — most of the time — is sign up for an account. Usually, you only have to play through the credit a single time before it becomes cash. You should jump on these offers whenever you see them, regardless of how much you like the app offering them (as long as it’s a legal and reputable app).
Also known as: Match bonus, Reload bonus
Sportsbooks use deposit bonuses to increase the value of your deposits with money of their own. They pledge to match a certain percentage of your deposit, which has the effect of doubling a portion of your deposit amount up to a certain point. It is possible to find deposit bonuses that match the entirety of your deposit, but these are most common for new players. Be warned — playthrough requirements for deposit bonuses can be quite steep. It is not unusual to see demands for 20x-25x your bonus amount before it is released as cash, and they are sometimes even higher than that.
Also known as: Insurance bonus, Refund bonus
Cashback bonuses aim to reduce the sting of a losing session. For certain wagers or certain periods of time, the sportsbook agrees to reimburse a percentage of your net losses up to a certain amount. It’s often a good deal, but it’s important to realize a couple of things. For one thing, you don’t get any money back if you break even or turn a profit during the specified period – cashback does not compensate for individual losses. The other thing to note is that you will receive your refund as site credit or free bets most of the time, so you’ll have to play through it at least once before it’s back in your account as cash.
Also known as: Loyalty program, Comp system, Comps
This type of bonus is the only one that you’ll find across the board in both retail and online sportsbooks. A rewards program is a system designed to award players for their frequent and loyal play. Every time you place a wager, a certain number of points are assigned to your account. These points are used to determine your ranking on a tiered status list. The higher you are on the list, the more perks, benefits, and comps you receive. Some books might also award a separate set of points that you can redeem for prizes in special stores or marketplaces. The bottom line is that this type of bonus is free to participate, you’re often entered automatically when you register for an account, and you should never go out of your way to achieve the next tier or award for one of these programs. However, they can be a nice boost to your winnings or help to assuage the pain of a loss.
Also known as: n/a
A leaderboard bonus pits you against other sports bettors over the course of a set period of time. The sportsbook app keeps a running list of players, and those who end the time period at the top of the board receive prizes — usually site credit or cash. You move up and down the ladder based upon various criteria, depending on the board, but the primary factor is, unsurprisingly, how much you bet. Like many other bonuses, these are fine and cost nothing to enter, but probably shouldn’t be the reason that you bet.
Also known as: Free Play, Sweepstakes
This last type of bonus is for everyone. Sportsbooks will offer contests to the general public that are free to play and bear the chance at a significant prize. However, the chance of realizing any type of value close to the advertised amount is quite low. Usually, you have to answer a series of questions or make a series of picks correctly in order to remain in the running. Because they are free to play, they are available even in states that do not have sports betting. Now, there’s no reason to give this much attention, of course, but it only costs you the time to play, so there’s no reason to ignore them if you want to have some fun, either.
If you want to give sports betting in Louisiana a try, there are a few things that you have to do. Thankfully, you can usually go from zero to betting in less than 10 minutes. Simply walk through the steps below to get started.
No matter if bettors are signing up for a new account online or in person, the information they need to provide remains the same. These pieces of information allow operators to confirm identities as well as run background checks to determine if an individual is OK to participate. Here is what you’ll need to provide:
Of course, those signing up for online wagering will need to create usernames and passwords that allow them to access their accounts.
Once an account is created, you will then need to make a deposit in order to place wagers. Typically, sportsbooks offer a variety of methods for funding accounts. The most common are credit and debit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, and here are some other ways:
Note that not all sportsbooks will offer each option. Additionally, some banks have flagged gambling sites, so when their customers attempt to use credit cards to fund their accounts, select banks decline those transactions.
For good measure, check back with PlayUSA before you submit a deposit to your sportsbook of choice. Not only do we feature bonus offers from sportsbooks, but we also share deals not found anywhere else.
Online sportsbooks usually offer multiple ways for bettors to cash out, though usually fewer than for depositing. As has been the case, many operators prefer to deliver withdrawals via electronic or paper checks. However, several other methods include:
The short answer is that yes, you will have to be inside Louisiana to bet online. However, before we discuss how that will work, it’s important to reiterate that Louisiana does not allow online sports betting just yet. The state is still working to bring retail sportsbooks to life, and online wagering will take more time and legislation to become reality. It’s also not immediately clear if the November 2020 referendum will apply.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the referendum covers both retail and online sports betting in terms of authorization. So, assuming that the 55 parishes are eligible, the sites would have a tricky enforcement task on their hands. To this point, states with online sports betting have issued blanket authorizations across the breadth of their territories. Sports betting is available in every corner of the state.
It is never legal for sports betting to cross state lines. Sportsbooks must employ geolocation software and keep track of where players are physically located. If players cannot verifiably prove they are inside the state in question, the sportsbooks must deny them service or risk sanctions — including fines and licensing issues — from the regulatory body overseeing sports betting in the state. Geolocation verification software is quite adept these days, and can reliably create a virtual fence surrounding the state.
Assuming that the parish-specific infrastructure remains in place for Louisiana, then sites will not just have to confirm players are located in Louisiana. They will also have to make sure that none of the dissenting parishes are allowed access. It is not clear if geolocation software has advanced to this point yet, but it will have to do so if Louisiana is to offer mobile sports betting in a lawful manner. So, Louisiana could end up being a proving ground for the efficacy of geolocation technology.
Of course, none of that matters to you, the sports bettor. The bottom line is that you will have to be inside Louisiana to play, yes, but you will also have to be in an approved parish.
One last thing to mention is the fact that you do not have to be a resident of Louisiana in order to play. Anyone physically inside the borders of an approved parish who is over the age of 21 will be able to play, regardless of where they receive their mail. In fact, we imagine that the participation of visitors to the state will be critical to the long-term success of the industry.
Yes. Along with their work to make sports betting a reality during the same time period, Louisiana lawmakers and regulators finally issued licenses and allowed daily fantasy sports to proceed in 2021.
Money. More than most states, Louisiana is in desperate need of revenue streams. The Pelican State was already one of the nation’s poorest, and that was before a parade of hurricanes lashed the state repeatedly. Although gambling expansion is almost always due to lawmakers’ desire for more tax revenue, it is rarely so necessary as it is in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board. The LGCB oversees most of the myriad types of gambling in the Pelican State, from its casinos to its video poker lounges to the slot machines at its racetracks. Legal sports betting falls under its purview as well.
Yes. DraftKings is already providing service to Louisianans as one of its licensed DFS providers. In addition, DraftKings Sportsbook is part of the sports betting landscape that residents and visitors to the Pelican State will soon be able to enjoy.
Anyone over the age of 21 and physically inside the state (and not in one of the nine parishes that voted no) can bet on sports in Louisiana. Although some of the state’s gambling activities are available to 18-year-old inhabitants, sports betting is not one of them.
Now, we are pretty clear in our belief that online sports betting is superior to retail betting. It’s faster, more flexible, and much more convenient. The only places that you cannot bet online in Louisiana are those nine parishes we listed that did not approve sports betting in November 2020.
However, we understand that there are some reasons why you might want to wager in person. There’s something to be said for the experience of sitting in a bustling sportsbook with wall-size televisions, comfortable chairs, and food service. So, let’s talk about where you can go in Louisiana to do that.
First things first, it’s important to understand the possibilities. All 20 of Louisiana’s casinos or racinos are eligible to host a retail sports betting operation. What’s not clear, though, is exactly which ones will do so. The list below is merely a capture of every possible location. HOWEVER, the properties with a parenthesis next to them have sports betting partners attached to them specifically or their corporate parents. So, if they do not already have sportsbooks onsite, you can credibly consider them most likely to open one in the near future.
So, you have plenty of options, no matter where you live in the Pelican State. However, with so many closures of businesses for a variety of reasons, make sure to call ahead before you head out the door.
There are many professional and college sports teams with rabid fan bases in Louisiana, to be sure. When sports betting finally comes to the state, bettors will have their pick of those teams’ games to put down their money. However, it is important that you keep in mind the potential restrictions that the Legislature could enact upon sports betting.
For the most part, betting on professional teams is just fine. Louisiana’s two major pro teams, the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, will undoubtedly draw a mountain of bets. The only limitations that you might see from regulators would pertain to live, or in game, betting. Because live betting is so new, it causes concern from regulators about its speed and perception of fairness.
These limitations are far more likely with regard to college sports, however. Because college sports are still nominally amateur events and involve student-athletes, legislators are often concerned about the moral hazard that sports betting could potentially bring to their dorm rooms. Proposition betting, and its fast-moving subset, in game wagering, often draw restrictions from regulators.
Some states take things a bit farther. It is not terribly unusual to see all sports betting on in-state college teams prohibited. Needless to say, this rule would be unpopular for LSU fans and other proponents of Louisiana college sports. However, it’s better to know that it is a possibility than to be surprised if it shows up in the rules. At any rate, here are the major sports teams located in Louisiana and their associated leagues or conferences:
As mentioned earlier, sports betting is now a question of when in Louisiana, rather than if. That means that most of the bets you’ve seen elsewhere will make their way to the Pelican State when the time comes. Those types of bets include the following:
Like most states, Louisiana’s history with sports betting is not terribly long. Before 2018, it was not possible for sports betting to take place in any state outside of Nevada (more or less), so there was no sense in attempting to legislate it. However, a review of the legislative sessions from the last 25 years or so does reveal that several state lawmakers made more overtures toward sports betting than the referendum that passed in November 2020.