While this state has a rich history in gambling and vice, the same can’t exactly be said for sports betting in Louisiana. Although betting on horse racing is legal at licensed racinos, there is still some way to go for the state to relax their laws on betting for other kinds of sports and general online gambling. However, like many other states, following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) there have been advancements in allowing legal sports betting. The state Senate Judiciary B Committee voted to approve Bill 153 to permit sports betting in the state and it is now heading to the next stages of consideration. This article will discuss Louisiana’s history with gambling, Louisiana’s most popular sports and how they are both related.
Gambling Laws in Louisiana
Louisiana has one of the longest histories with gambling in all of the United States. The first casino opened in 1753 and since then, its capital city New Orleans has thrived as a gambling destination despite numerous efforts from federal governments to put an end to it over the years. Unfortunately, this trail-blazing and open approach to gambling cannot be said for online gambling – in fact, Louisiana is one of few states that impose strict punishments on those playing and operating online gaming. Political moves to ease laws around gambling have often been marred by corruption scandals, but there are hopes that now sanctions on sports betting have been eased. Even daily fantasy sports have been given the go-ahead by voters, which paved the way for sports betting legislation to be written. In 2019, the Senate approved SB 153, a Louisiana sports betting bill that would allow wagering but only on casino and racetrack grounds.
- We use trusted sources such as: The Advocate and the Shreveport Times to stay on top of all industry related news and developments.
- We aren’t just experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling industry including for casino games such as slots and have created an online roulette guide.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by closely following the movements of the Louisiana Racing Commission and the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Most Popular Sports in Louisiana
Louisiana has a vibrant and energetic culture, and this extends to its sporting on both college and professional levels. Whether they’re team sports or recreations like hunting and fishing, there’s something for everyone in Louisiana. Even their license plates were given the title of the “Sportsmen’s Paradise” in 1954 in recognition of their residents love of the outdoors! There are numerous sports that are loved by Louisianans, but we’ve chosen to highlight football, basketball, baseball, and soccer for their team’s unique stories and their large fan-bases.
Football – New Orleans Saints
Founded in 1966, the team quickly became a part of the NFL franchise. Their name refers to All Saints Day, a religious holiday of importance to many of Louisiana’s Catholic inhabitants. The Saints have always been loved for embodying the cheerful spirit of their hometown and were celebrated throughout when they won their first and only Super Bowl game in 2009. Their home stadium at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome has a capacity of over 70,000 adoring fans. Past star players include quarterback Drew Brees and linebacker Rickey Jackson.
Basketball – New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans started as the Hornets in 2002. In their short but illustrious career, the Pelicans have won two playoff series and a division title, although they are yet to take home a championship. Drawing in fans to their home stadium at the Smoothie King Center, fans are holding out hopes for another successful season as the team gradually comes into their own and build their identity – especially after the news that they have drafted star player Zion Williamson. Past players include Anthony Davis and Chris Paul.
Baseball – New Orleans Baby Cakes
The Babycakes play in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, one step below the Major League. Once known as the Zephyrs, the team was formed in 1993 and since then have become a training ground for some of the freshest talent that now plays in teams like the New York Mets, the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros. It was from the Baby Cakes where former Astros star batter Lance Berkman originated. The team play at the Shrine on Airline field. They were celebrated in 2006 for being the first professional team to play in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the state.
Soccer – New Orleans Jesters
Formed in 2003, the New Orleans Jesters play in the National Premier Soccer League, a Minor League division. With their 5000-capacity home ground at Pan American stadium, the Jesters are cheered on by a passionate and loyal fanbase. Former players that have gone on to Major League professional stardom are Patrick Mullins who now plays with Columbus Crew and Andrew Tarbell of the San Jose Earthquakes.
Local History of Sports Betting
While betting on horse racing was made legal in 1920, very little has been done since then to advance legislation for the legalization of expanded sports betting. Despite the rich culture of gambling within the state, it seemed as though this was the final frontier – and luckily for Louisiana residents, it looks like advancements are finally being made. In the latest bill SB 153 approved by the State Senate, sports betting would be legalized, though limited on-site at one of the state’s 16 casino or 4 racetrack grounds. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a start! See the Louisiana gambling page for more news and information.
|1753||First government-run casino opened after the decades-long failure of outlawing gambling.|
|1920||Betting on horse racing becomes legal – the first and only sport where betting is allowed.|
|1991||A new State lottery became legal, as did video poker machines. 15 riverboat casinos and one land-based casino approved.|
|1998||Changes are made to state laws that specifically outline the illegality of online gambling.|
|2019||Bill SB 153 is passed through state senate to allow expanded sports betting. Under the legislation, mobile sports betting would be limited to casino or racetrack grounds.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in Louisiana
Online sports betting is only legal in Louisiana in the form of online horse racing betting. The legal gambling age for gambling on bingo and horse racing in the state is 18 years old, while the minimum age to gamble on video poker and in casinos is 21 years old. To engage in unlawful gambling like playing casino games, gaming devices, or slot machines whilst underage could land you a fine of $500 or imprisonment for 6 months, or both.
Sports Betting Age
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the Louisiana?
While sports betting is slowly being legalized across states in the US, many of those that have legalized sports betting still have some ways to go in terms of making mobile/online sports wagering legal or unrestricted. This is the case for Louisiana’s neighboring state of Mississippi. – which despite having recently legalized sports betting, has yet to remove restrictions on online sports betting. Arkansas, another neighboring state, has also recently passed legislation for sports betting that specifically stipulates that all sports betting must take place inside a casino and not over the telephone or internet.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
In Louisiana, as it is in all states, federal law states that gambling winnings are fully taxable at a rate of 25% if you have won $600 or more if the amount is 300 times the wager, $1,200 or more from bingo or slot machines, $1,500 or more from keno and over $5,000 from a poker tournament. In fact, Louisiana is the largest beneficiary of revenue from gaming due to state gaming taxes being calculated on gross revenue, which for riverboat casinos is 21%, and gaming is the fourth largest source of state-generated revenue. For more info, visit the website of the IRS and the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in Louisiana Sports Betting Law
If the current bill is successful, Louisiana will allow sports betting on-site at casinos and race-tracks by 2020. Although this is a step forward, it is surely overlooking the revenue potential that is generated by unrestricted online sports betting. In 2018, residents voted for the legalization of betting on online daily fantasy sports (DFS), so it is safe to assume that voters would also approve of online betting too. With Louisiana’s rich history in gambling and the state budget’s reliance on its taxation, the most logical step forward it to allow for this to happen.