People in Louisiana love sports and the state has long been a home for gambling, so it made sense that the two would eventually be combined by legalizing sports betting. How it happened was due in part to the state’s unique legislative structure, the influence of gambling interests, and the desire to offer a new source of entertainment to residents and visitors alike while raising revenue for state government programs.
Read on for more information on how sports betting was legalized in Louisiana, what’s next in the regulatory process, which retail and mobile sportsbooks are coming to the state, which sportsbook bonuses and banking options bettors in the state can expect, and a very special FAQ that includes answers to your most pressing questions.
Best Louisiana sports betting prelaunch offers
Road to legal sports betting in Louisiana
After PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court in ’18, each state became free to legalize and regulate sports betting however they wanted. The Supreme Court decision did not legalize sports betting itself; rather, it overturned the federal law that prohibited states from legalizing the activity. Congress still has the authority to regulate sports betting at the federal level but has so far chosen to leave the issue to the states.
This is obviously great news for fans of legal sports betting, but it also leaves us with a patchwork of different state laws. Several states, including Louisiana, decided to leave the decision to the voters, who voted to approve an initiative in 2020 that led to legalized sports betting in the state. In an unusual Louisiana twist, the nine parishes (known as counties in every other state, because Louisiana…) that did not approve sports betting will not have it in their parishes.
These parishes will be geofenced, so residents in those areas wishing to bet on sports will have to drive to a neighboring parish that allows the activity. This is unusual because most states: 1. Have counties instead of parishes; and 2. Apply the results of a statewide initiative to the entire state. Leave it to Louisiana to do things differently.
After the initiative passed, the state legislature got to work creating a legislative framework for sports betting. Through some tough battles and after lots of compromise, three bills that set up the tax and regulatory structure were passed and signed into law in the spring of 2021. After that the regulatory process spun into action. It usually takes a few months to get everything lined up, and Louisiana was no different.
Well, actually, it was a little different because a hurricane barreled through the state, leaving State Police investigators unable to conduct the routine background checks necessary to fully vet casinos and vendors because they had to deal with the after effects of a dang hurricane. It is therefore understandable that there was a slight delay.
What’s next for sports betting in Louisiana
Hurricane Ida has come and gone. State Police investigators are back at work investigating vendors before approving their licenses. Retail sportsbooks are being built in casinos across the state in anticipation of opening up by the end of 2021. A tribal-owned casino opened a sportsbook in October 2021, beating the other operators to market because tribal casinos are not regulated by the state of Louisiana. The Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville partnered with Betfred to open a retail sportsbook at the casino.
In early November 2021, a few retail casinos, including Caesars and Penn National, opened up in-person sportsbooks at their facilities. Online betting is not live yet, but will be soon. This page will be updated as sportsbooks go live online in the state.
There are 20 licensed casinos in the state, all of which are able to apply for a sports betting license that include two online “skins.” This means that up to 40 sportsbooks could potentially be live in the state, but we expect the number to be well below that. The first sportsbooks have already begun launching, with most of them planning to offer at least retail betting at casino sportsbooks before the end of the year. Let’s go over which sportsbooks we expect to be among the first to arrive in Louisiana.
Which sportsbooks are coming to Louisiana
As mentioned, there are 20 commercial, non-tribal casinos in Louisiana that fall under state jurisdiction. Fifteen of them are riverboat casinos, which means the casino itself is actually located on a boat in the river. Generally there are large hotels next to the riverboat, so it is more of a facility with a riverboat, but still, the gambling is required to be on the water.
Four racinos also operate in Louisiana, which are horse racing facilities that include large casino gaming areas. Lastly, there is one big ol’ Harrah’s casino right on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans. All of these casinos are owned by large gaming companies that either own or have existing partnerships with online sportsbooks. The following sportsbooks will likely be the first ones to go live online in the state.
|Sportsbook||Louisiana Casino Partner||City||LA Casino Corporate Owner||Launch Date|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Boomtown Casino||Bossier City||Penn National Gaming||TBD|
|Boomtown Casino||New Orleans||Penn National Gaming||11/1/2021 (retail)|
|L'Auberge Casino||Baton Rouge||Penn National Gaming||11/1/2021 (retail)|
|L'Auberge Casino||Lake Charles||Penn National Gaming||TBD|
|Margaritaville Resort Casino||Bossier City||Penn National Gaming||TBD|
|Betfred||Paragon Casino Resort||Marksville||Tunica-Biloxi Tribe||10/6/2021 (retail)|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Harrah's||New Orleans||Caesars||11/1/2021 (retail)|
|Harrah's Louisiana Downs||Bossier City||Caesars||11/1/2021 (retail)|
|Horseshoe Casino||Bossier City||Caesars||11/1/2021 (retail)|
|Isle of Capri Casino||Lake Charles||Caesars||11/1/2021 (retail)|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Belle of Baton Rouge||Baton Rouge||Casino Queen||TBD|
|Hollywood Casino||Baton Rouge||Casino Queen||TBD|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Amelia Belle Casino||Amelia||Boyd Gaming||TBD|
|Delta Downs||Vinton||Boyd Gaming||TBD|
|Evangeline Downs||Opelousas||Boyd Gaming||TBD|
|Sam's Town||Shreveport||Boyd Gaming||TBD|
|Treasure Chest Casino||Kenner||Boyd Gaming||TBD|
|Golden Nugget||Golden Nugget||Lake Charles||Golden Nugget||TBD|
|TwinSpires||Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots||New Orleans||Churchill Downs, Inc.||TBD|
Early sportsbooks in Louisiana:
More to come later on, including (possibly):
Retail sports betting kiosks in Louisiana
In another unusual Louisiana twist, under the sports betting law the Louisiana Lottery has jurisdiction over retail sports betting kiosks and will provide them to licensed establishments throughout the state. This could include hundreds of bars and restaurants, most of which already have a Lottery kiosk. Kiosks are a great way for casual sports bettors to put a few bucks on the game they are already watching.
Many states have kiosks available at sportsbooks, and Montana even has a state-run kiosk program for bars in the state. Of course, unlike in Montana, the kiosks in Louisiana will be available in addition to statewide mobile and retail betting, so it’s just another option, but it might prove to be a popular choice for those who don’t want to set up an online sportsbook account or don’t live near a casino.
Louisiana sports betting promotions
The most popular promotions offered by online sportsbooks include:
- Risk-free bets
- Deposit match/bonus
- Free bets
- Odds boosts
- Parlay insurance
Each of these promotions has value to the bettor, but some are definitely better than others. Most, if not all, of these promotions will be available to bettors in Louisiana. Taken one at a time, we can identify the advantages and disadvantages of each promotion.
Risk-free wagers are just that, a bet without risk. If a sportsbook offers your first bet risk-free up to $1000, that means after making your first deposit, your first bet up to $1000 will be insured against loss. If you bet $1000 and your bet wins, you are off to a great start and have a lot more money in your account. But if your $1000 first bet loses, instead of being out the money, you get a $1000 credit in your account. Think of it as a first bet insurance policy. You’re back where you started. Sportsbooks have different rules for the risk-free bet credits, so check with your sportsbook before making your first wager, but this promotion is a good way to try out a new sportsbook knowing that you won’t be out any money after your first bet.
Deposit match bonuses
These offers are a credit added to your account after you make your first deposit. This is a very good promotion because the money is yours after you meet a play-through requirement, which is an amount that you need to wager before “clearing” the bonus. So if a sportsbook offers a $1000 deposit match with a 1x play-through requirement, you need to wager $1000 on any type of bet before you can withdraw the bonus amount. After that, the money is yours.
A free bet is a free bet. Money is added to your account when you sign up, usually $10 or so, and it’s free. You can use it on whatever bet you want to make depending on the terms and conditions. Sometimes you don’t even have to make a deposit to get a free bet. It’s usually not a lot of money, but it’s not nothin’ either. If you see a free bet promo, jump on it.
Boosts can be useful if you like the actual wager itself. Odds boosts are becoming very popular and are now offered by almost every sportsbook. In Louisiana, an odds boost might include the Saints and a player prop, so it would be something like Saints to win outright plus Michael Thomas catching 1 or more TDs. This parlay would be about +250 normally, so an odds boost might take it up to +300 or +350. Odds boosts are generally just marketing to get people interested in the day’s events, but they offer real value if you like the underlying wagering opportunity.
Giveaways are a way to create brand loyalty and give customers some swag to rep, as the Millennials might say. People love free stuff, so giving out some hats or shirts that aren’t available to buy is a great way to get people to bet with a particular sportsbook. Other giveaways include gift cards, such as Caesars Sportsbook’s memorable NFL promotion that gave anyone who bet $100 or more on NFL games a $150 gift card to the NFL team shop so they could buy a jersey. What a deal! Giveaways are expensive for the sportsbook, but they are becoming more popular as the competition for new customers stiffens.
Insurance is a money-back guarantee if your wager or parlay doesn’t hit. Parlays are all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. Turning a few bucks into thousands of bucks has been the dream of bettors since the beginning of betting. Choose some bets, and if they all hit, you make a lot of money. The problem is that most of the time at least one of the legs doesn’t hit. Sad! But wait… with parlay insurance, if all but one or two legs of your parlay hits, you don’t lose everything. The sportsbook will give you a few bucks for your pain, usually around $25. It’s not as much as if your parlay hit, but it does soften the blow, particularly because most people only wager a small amount on parlays.
Each sportsbook has its own banking options. Some are more limited while others are expansive, offering the basics but also including innovative choices for customers to make their deposits and withdrawals. Banking options offered by sportsbooks in Louisiana will include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- ACH eCheck
- Play+ Branded Prepaid Cards
- Gift Cards
- Visa/Mastercard/Discover credit cards
- Online banking
- Wire transfer
- Cash at casino cage
- Check sent by mail
There are more individual wagers available than ever before. Player props and alternate lines have exploded in popularity and availability, leading to hundreds of different wagers available for even a low-profile Tuesday night Pelicans-Thunder NBA game. The types of bets haven’t changed much, but the number and creativity of how those bet types are utilized has grown a great deal since sports betting has been legalized in the states. Here are the most common bet types, all of which will be available to bettors in Louisiana:
- Prop bets
- Live/in-game bets
Sports offered in Louisiana
The most popular sport in Louisiana is, of course, football. Local television ratings for the Saints are the highest of any tv market in the country. People in Louisiana LOVE the Saints. That isn’t saying anything new, but it is important to note because, most likely, the most heavily bet sport in Louisiana will be football. But football will be far from the only sport available to wager on in Louisiana. In fact, wagering on pretty much every sport played anywhere in the world will be available in the state.
Sportsbooks have really leaned in to providing a wide variety of sports to wager on, and, in some states like Colorado, it would be hard to name a sport or sports league that is not available on at least one of the online sportsbooks live in the state. Each state ultimately decides which sports are authorized to be offered by sportsbooks in that state, so we expect Louisiana to be somewhere in the middle, with most major sports available but maybe not as many of the lesser-known ones. One thing we do know is that NFL and NCAA football will be front and center on every online sportsbook app in the state. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the sports available in most states, courtesy of our friends at DraftKings:
- Australian Rules Football
- Basketball (NBA, NCAA, and European leagues)
- Football (NCAA and NFL)
- Table Tennis
Frequently Asked Questions
Which sportsbooks are coming to Louisiana?
We expect over a dozen sportsbooks to eventually land in Louisiana. Of those, seven have existing partnerships with or are owned by companies that also own retail casinos in the state. Since the 20 retail casinos are the only businesses that qualify for a sports betting license in Louisiana, it makes sense that most, if not all, of the following online sportsbooks will be live in the state before the 2022 Super Bowl:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Bally Bet
- Golden Nugget
What is the tax rate for Louisiana sports betting and why does that matter?
In theory, a low tax rate would encourage smaller operators to come to a state because they would earn more revenue by paying a lower amount of their handle in tax. A state with a high tax rate might see sportsbooks offer larger spreads (-120 vs. -110), fewer discounts, and have fewer operators because it would be harder to make enough money to remain profitable if 36% of your revenue goes to the state, as is the case in Pennsylvania. But Pennsylvania had enough of a population base to make it worthwhile for the sportsbooks to come to the state and pay the high tax rate, proving the naysayers somewhat wrong.
State leaders in Louisiana decided that a low tax rate would be more beneficial for the industry and eventually lead to increased competition. They settled on a low tax rate of 10% for retail betting and 15% for mobile betting. This should hit the sweet spot of maximizing revenue generated for the state while not discouraging operators from potentially opening up shop in Louisiana.
What are sportsbooks doing to address problem gambling?
Sports betting is a form of entertainment. Wagering a small amount on a game can make it more fun and interesting to watch. We at USBets love sports and sports betting, but we also understand that gambling can get out of hand for some people and develop into a problem. Sportsbooks understand that too, which is why they have many ways for bettors to limit their access. State sportsbooks are required to offer a way for bettors to ban themselves from being allowed to wager on their platform, and they do so by maintaining a self-exclusion list. If someone puts themselves on a self-exclusion list, sportsbooks and casinos are legally required to prohibit that person from entering the property or betting on their online platform.
Other ways sportsbooks help those with problem gambling include deposit and session limits, which limit how much an individual can deposit in a day or a week and how long they can be logged in to the site. There are also helplines that are staffed by trained professionals who can assist with getting someone the resources they need. For more information, please visit the National Council on Problem Gaming’s website or call or text the NCPG confidential helpline at 1.800.522.4700.