Louisiana online sports betting laws
Sports betting is on its way to Louisiana. A referendum in November 2020 cleared the path for sports betting to be authorized in the majority of the state’s parishes and the state’s lawmakers passed legislation setting out a framework for regulation and licensing of sports betting in 2021. The licensing process is now underway, and it’s hoped that sports betting will be in the state by the end of 2021.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?
Yes, Louisiana has recently passed legislation to allow sports betting, however licenses have yet to issue, and it could be a few months before the first legal sports wager is placed in the state.
Is online sports betting legal in Louisiana?
Although online sports betting has been approved in the state, licenses are yet to issue and there is no live online sports betting yet available.
How old do I have to be to place a bet in Louisiana?
You need to be at least 21 years old before you can enjoy sports betting in Louisiana.
There were several efforts to legalize Louisiana sports betting in the wake of the overturn of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.
However, none had been successful until Senate bill SB130 put a simple question to voters on a parish-by-parish basis in the November 2020 election.
The question was, simply: “Shall sports wagering activities and operations be permitted in the parish of [name]?”
The answer was a resounding ‘Yes’ in 55 of the 64 parishes in the state. That means Louisiana sports betting will be permitted in those 55 parishes – which account for the majority of the state’s 4.6 million population.
The referendum set the stage for the Louisiana legislature to determine how sports wagering will be regulated and licensed in the state. This legislation was signed into law by the Louisiana governor in June 2021.
The state’s sports betting legislation recently signed into law includes Senate Bill 247, which authorizes the state’s gaming control board to regulate sports betting and issue up to 20 licenses for online and retail sportsbooks. Harrah’s New Orleans, the state’s 15 licensed riverboats, and four live horse-racing tracks will have priority for these online licenses. If any remain, starting in 2022, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board can then consider granting licenses to other entities, such as video poker facilities and fantasy sports operators.
SB 247 also allows licensees to contract out for mobile betting with up to two licensed sports wagering platform providers.
Other recently passed enabling legislation includes a tax bill, SB 142, which will impose a tax on net gaming proceeds of 10 percent for in-person wagers and 15 percent for online wagers. This bill also authorizes the Louisiana Lottery Corp. to take sports wagers via their website, mobile app, and retail kiosks.
Other requirements include that players must be 21 years of age or older and be physically located in one of the parishes that approved the sports-betting ballot measure in order to place a wager.
Although Louisiana sports betting is yet to get properly underway, one form of sports betting that’s always been allowed in the Pelican State is on horse racing.
The Louisiana Racing Commission is responsible for regulating and governing all forms of horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in the state. There are four racetracks, including Fair Grounds, Evangeline Downs, Delta Downs, and Louisiana Downs, and people can bet on the action here through off-track betting locations (OTBs) at each of the above, or via specific racing sites such as TVG and BetAmerica.
The complicated nature of local Louisiana politics and geography helps to explain why major Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators do not offer services in the Bayou State yet – although they hope to soon.
DFS was legalized in the state in Louisiana via referendum in 2018 – but 17 of the state’s 64 parishes voted against. That means there will need to be incredibly accurate geo-location technology in place to ensure nobody can play in those areas.
To add to that complication, no agreement had been reached on the level of tax on DFS revenues that would be payable to the state.
That changed in February 2021, when the state decided on an 8% rate and opened the process of applications for DFS licenses.
Major DFS players DraftKings and FanDuel have submitted their applications to provide DFS in the state, with hopes to offer DFS wagering by the start of the NFL season.
The New Orleans Saints earned a special place in folklore with their 2009 Super Bowl triumph. It was seen by many as a metaphor for their home city’s resurgence after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Football is enormously popular in the state – both at NFL and college level, thanks predominantly to the LSU Tigers.
PASPA is ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, clearing the way for any state to authorize sports betting within its borders.
Sen. Danny Martiny makes a sustained effort to bring sports betting to Louisiana, but cannot get enough support for his bill
Several legislators step up efforts for legalization and a question is put to voters on a parish-by-parish level in the election. 55 out of 64 parishes vote for legalization.
The Louisiana Legislature passes laws outlining the regulation and licensing for sports betting in the state, and these are signed by the governor in June. It is hoped that licenses will be issued and live wagers will be available in the state by the end of the year.
There are no locations where you can currently enjoy legal Louisiana sports betting, but that is changing soon.
Following the vote to legalize sports betting in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes in November 2020, the state’s legislature passed laws outlining the framework for sports betting in 2021, with the hope that live wagering should begin by the end of 2021.
The most obvious retail locations where this should happen are the state’s casinos. Louisiana is home to more than 20, and an up-to-date list is available here.
Not yet. Louisiana online sports betting was recently legalized, but licenses have not yet been issued and no live wagering is yet available.
Not yet, but hopefully soon. FanDuel is one of the major operators of Daily Fantasy Sports, which has been legalized in most parishes in the state. Challenges around geolocation requirements and a lack of clarity over tax revenues had stalled the rollout of DFS here. However, Louisiana began accepting applications for DFS providers in early 2021 and FanDuel hopes to be one of the first to offer DFS in the state, perhaps by the start of the 2021 NFL season.
The only sport on which you can gamble in Louisiana is horse racing. Sports betting as a whole has been legalized in most of the state but is not expected to go live here until late 2021 or 2022. Until then there is no such thing as legal Louisiana online betting.
Now that Louisiana online sports betting is legalized, Bet365 will almost certainly contend for one of the online licenses. Until then, however, in common with all other online bookmakers, it is not authorized to operate in Louisiana.