Louisiana sports betting is expected to go live on a full-scale basis at some point in October under a 2021 law that allows 20 sportsbook licenses for in-person and mobile betting. The law calls for each licensee, plus the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, to offer up to two mobile platforms (often referred to as “skins”), for a potential total of 41 skins on which to make an online wager.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board set a goal of launching on Oct. 1, but the massive damages left by Hurricane Ida in August delayed the launch. The LGCB is still hopeful it can launch in October.
This law will go into effect in the 55 parishes that authorized sports betting by referendum last year. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed off on the regulatory framework in Senate Bill 247 and related tax and licensing rules in House Bill 697 in June, allowing both laws to take effect at the beginning of July 2021.
Fifteen riverboat casinos, four racinos, and Harrah’s Casino New Orleans will be given a chance to apply for the licenses first. Any remaining licenses will be made available to the state’s licensed video poker sites and fantasy sports contest operators. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board will approve licenses and be responsible for regulation.
In addition to a mobile sportsbook, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation will be able to place betting kiosks at bars and restaurants with a Class-A liquor license.
The new legislation allows the state to issue a temporary certificate to qualified applicants that are waiting on a license but want to start taking sports bets so Louisiana sports bettors may not have to wait until a full launch to start making wagers.
In a move that got the sports betting launch process going more quickly in July, Ronnie Johns resigned from the state Senate to accept Gov. Edwards’ appointment to lead the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the regulatory body that must implement sports betting rules, removing an obstacle to the industry’s launch in the state.
What Type Of Online Gaming Is Authorized In Louisiana?
Each of the 20 licensees will be allowed to contract with two individual brands (“skins”) for online and mobile sports betting.
Sportsbook kiosks at bars and restaurants will be operated by the Louisiana Lottery Corporation. There is no reported cap on the number of kiosk locations allowed.
The rules for Louisiana sports betting are as follows:
- Professional, college, and amateur sports betting will be allowed, including on LSU and other Louisiana-based universities
- Prop bets will be allowed with some exceptions (e.g. no betting on player injuries or disciplinary action)
- Bettors must be at least 21 years old to wager in-person or on the web
- No betting on high school sporting events or on athletes who are under age 18
- No betting by players, coaches, or referees on games or events in which they are participating
- All betting servers must be located in Louisiana, with betting geofenced to the 55 parishes where sportsbooks are legal
Online Fantasy Sports
Online fantasy sports contests, including DFS, are also allowed in Louisiana under a 2020 law following voter approval of fantasy sports contests in 47 parishes in 2018.
On July 15, DraftKings became the first company approved by the Gaming Control Board to offer DFS in Louisiana, which became the 44th state in the US with legal DFS.
Louisiana Sports Betting Tax And Licensing
|10% in-person bets; 15% online/mobile|
|License Fees||$250,000 application fee; $500,000 five-year license fee (renewable)|
|What’s Legal?||Onsite and online/mobile sports betting through 20 licensed operators; online/mobile and kiosk-based sports betting managed by the Louisiana Lottery|
|Date Signed Into Law||Taxes and fees: Early June 2021 (HB 697)
Licensing framework: Late June 2021 (SB 247)
Timeline Of Important Dates In Louisiana Online Gambling History
May 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns PASPA. States outside Nevada can now regulate sports betting within their borders for the first time in 25 years.
Nov. 2018: Voters approve DFS in 47 or Louisiana’s 64 parishes, allowing the Louisiana State Legislature to proceed with the passage of a regulatory framework for online fantasy sports contests.
June 2019: A regulatory framework for DFS fails to pass during the 2019 regular legislative session. The effort stalls after a sports betting bill sponsored by former Sen. Danny Martiny is tacked onto DFS legislation sponsored by then Rep. (now Senator) Kirk Talbot, killing both proposals.
June 2020: DFS regulatory framework passes and is signed into law. The licensing application process for online fantasy sports contests would begin in March 2021.
June 2020: Louisiana voters get the chance to decide whether or not to authorize sports betting in their parish after a bill to put the issue on the ballot is signed into law.
November 2020: 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes vote to authorize sports betting in their jurisdictions.
June 2021: Louisiana sports betting legislation is approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The legislation will take effect in early July 2021.
July 2021: DraftKings is granted a license by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to offer DFS in the state.
July 2021: Senator Ronnie Johns resigns from his legislative seat to accept Gov. Edwards’ appointment as the new chair of the Gaming Control Board.
Louisiana Online Gambling Facts
|Minimum Age To Gamble Online||21|
|What Types Of Online Gambling Are Legal?||Sports betting (both in-person and online/mobile) in 55 of 64 parishes|
|Date Of Legalization||June 2021- sports betting regulatory framework signed into law|
|Who Regulates Online Gambling in Louisiana?||Louisiana Gaming Control Board and
Louisiana State Racing Commission (shared approval of sports wagering at racinos)
Louisiana Sports Betting Laws – FAQs
Gambling through state-regulated and monitored websites and mobile gambling apps is the safe way to bet online in Louisiana. Legal retail and mobile online gambling operators are regulated or monitored by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. It is not considered safe to bet with or share personal or financial information with non-regulated online sportsbooks, offshore books, or those affiliated with neighborhood bookies.
Only bet through online gambling sites that are state-regulated and/or monitored. Gaming vendor certifications and enforcement information are usually available for public viewing on the state regulatory website. Also, make sure that the online gambling website or mobile gambling app you choose is secured by encryption software. A secure website is often indicated by a padlock icon in the URL address bar.
Online gambling sites in Louisiana are operated by both legal operators (state-regulated and licensed operators and the Louisiana Lottery Corporation) and illegal operators. Legal sites typically cite their regulatory and licensing agency or agencies on the website. Illegal sites operate outside of the bounds of Louisiana law and are often run offshore.
State regulators with the Louisiana Gaming Control Board are responsible for oversight of issues involving licensed gambling operators in the state. Any compliance issue should be brought to that agency’s attention.
Online gambling in Louisiana is regulated by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Vetting, licensing, and monitoring of all sports betting licensees, for example, is handled by this agency. Racinos that want to operate a sportsbook must have the approval of the Louisiana State Racing Commission before they can apply for a sportsbook license.
Legal online gambling sites are regulated by the state or jurisdiction where a bet is placed. Illegal online gambling does not offer much if any security. Even winning bets placed with illegal, unregulated sportsbooks could turn out to be losers,