Gambling in Louisiana


Gambling in Louisiana has an intricately woven fabric of contrasting gambling laws from the days of the earliest French and Spanish settlers to the current-day.

Crackdowns on gambling have occurred throughout the state’s history, and yet casinos in Louisiana thrive as does poker, horse racing in Louisiana and Louisiana video poker laws are trend-setting. Recently, the state legalized both  Daily Fantasy Sports as well as sports betting (retail and online). Meanwhile, state legislation deems online casinos illegal.

Louisiana Casino Gambling

There are plenty of legal Louisiana casinos that offer most of the popular casino games. The state of Louisiana offers three major types of casinos to its residents and visitors. There are riverboat casinos, which comprises all of Louisiana’s legal casinos with one exception. That one land-based casino has a special State Government dispensation that allows it to be on land as it guarantees a minimum number of jobs to the citizens of New Orleans. Native American Louisiana casinos located on reservation land comprise the other casino type in the state.

Louisiana has a total of 21 casinos (Tribal Casinos, Riverboat Casinos and the aforementioned sole land-based commercial casino) in which you’ll find more than an amazing 35 000 slots and gaming machines, and an equally impressive 850 table games at those Louisiana casinos. Our research on Louisiana’s Casinos has uncovered a minimum bet in Louisiana of $0.01 and an astonishing maximum bet of $ 25 000.

Online Casinos in Louisiana

There are many forms of live gambling in Louisiana. No other state in the South compares to it. However, on the other hand, Louisiana is one of the few states to actively and explicitly criminalize online casinos in general. Severe punishments are still in place including imprisonment for operators of the games and hefty fines for players.

However, in early 2018, the first discussions on the legalization of online casinos begun, but it is still an ongoing debate in the State’s Legislature on the topic and the potential introduction of a commodity similar to NJ’s Online Casinos.

Poker in Louisiana

Poker is legal at casinos and even social poker is not frowned upon in the Bayou State.

However, the most visible of all Louisiana’s gambling types is Video Poker. Widely and readily available in casinos and racetracks as well as restaurants, gas stations, bars and truck stops throughout the state, Video Poker is easily the most accessible form of gambling in Louisiana. According to Louisiana video poker laws, any business that has a liquor license can operate up to three Video Poker machines.

As of August 2017, a new Louisiana state law went into effect which loosened the state’s gambling regulations on Video Poker machines. Video Poker machines across Louisiana were upgraded to accept bills as large as $100. This was a big jump from the previous state government restriction that kept the machines from accepting bills larger than $20.

Curiously, while video poker is legal to some limited extent, playing poker online in Louisiana is still prohibited.

Social poker games are tolerated in Louisiana, although no specific laws cover social gaming in practice.

Poker Rooms

Complementing the cutting-edge video poker laws nicely, there are dedicated poker rooms in the Louisiana State area at some of the Tribal, Commercial and Riverboat casinos (a total of 11 Poker Rooms in the State) that are offering poker. Player vs Player poker options are available and there are many dedicated card rooms on Tribal territory.

Online Poker Laws

Online poker is unavailable in Louisiana at this time, due to the laws deeming online poker to be illegal in the state. See section above on ‘Online Casinos in Louisiana’.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Louisiana

1753 – First government run casino opened by the region’s French Governor.

1812 – New Orleans, Louisiana exempted from Federal ban on gambling.

1866 – Louisiana State Lottery originally created and ran until 1895 before being outlawed.

1925 – Horse racing betting legalized in Louisiana.

1991 – A new Louisiana State lottery becomes legal. Approval of 15 riverboat casinos, the first land-based casino and Louisiana’s famous video poker machines.

1993 – Three Native American tribes negotiate opening casinos on Louisiana Tribal lands.

1997 – Slot machines permitted at racetracks. This year also saw laws introduced to Louisiana outlawing online gambling and online casinos.

2013 – A Committee to look into the possibility of internet gambling (unsuccessful) was first established.

2017 – Video Poker machines across Louisiana were upgraded to accept bills as large as $100 from the previous $20 maximum.

2020 – Louisiana residents vote for sports betting in a statewide referendum.

2021 – Louisiana legislators grant DFS a launch. Both DFS and sports betting made available to Louisiana players online and in-person.

Visit our page on Louisinia’s online sports betting laws for reviews of the states top online sportsbooks