A melting pot of African, American and French cultures, Louisiana is the 31st in size and 25th most populous state of the US. The largest city, New Orleans, was the birthplace of jazz music, and is famous for its colonial-era French architecture, the festive Mardis Gras and massive National WWII Museum. Known for its sprawling bayous (swamps) and the introduction of voodoo from West Africa as a result of the slave trade in the colonial period, Lousiana has an undeniable mystique and charm to it that has long appealed to locals and tourists alike. With a long and complex history, Louisiana is a feast for the senses in terms of cuisine, culture, architecture and more. But, what does this state (incidentally known as ‘Las Vegas South’) have to say about gambling culture? Quite a lot, it would seem. In fact, there were casinos in Louisiana before there were even churches. Of course, as with many states in the US, what the law says about land-based casinos could be very different to its perspectives on online gambling. Read on to find out more.
Louisiana Gambling Licences
As previously mentioned, Louisiana actually saw the establishment of casinos before there were any churches, and gambling has long been a popular and beloved pastime in this southern state. As with many states, there has been much push and pull regarding the legalisation and then prohibition of gambling, and then the legalisation and regulation again. Still, Louisiana is one of the most liberal in the country in terms of gambling, with 15 riverboat casinos and video poker machines being legalised in 1991. These video poker machines can be found not only in casinos, but gas stations, bars, restaurants and even truck stops. Any business with a liquor licence is allowed up to 3 video poker machines on the premises. Not long after, land-based and tribal casinos hit the ground running, and casinos are one of the things promoted on tourism websites.
Horse-racing has enjoyed a long history in Louisiana, with pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing being legal and popular in the state. Charitable gambling, social gambling and the state lottery are all thriving means of gambling in Louisiana, with there probably being fewer prohibited forms of gambling than otherwise. Dogfighting and cockfighting are strictly illegal, as is any underage gambling and (not surprisingly) online gambling, the latter being explicitly criminalised in the state’s laws.
Gambling in Louisiana
There are so many options to enjoy when it comes to gambling in Louisiana, with just a few noticeable exceptions. While residents of other states tend to see a loophole in statutes prohibiting the operating of an online gaming organisation, as long as they are only playing at and not running a casino, locals in Louisiana are better off not taking a risk, and sticking to social casino apps and fun play casinos, many of which offer up some free fun online slots. One particularly stringent law is the legal gambling age, set at 21 and older.
Land-based and Online Casinos
Land-based and tribal casinos enjoy much popularity in Louisiana, and you’ll even find a few being advertised on websites promoting tourism to the state. There are approximately 16 commercial casinos in Louisiana, with plans to build even more. In days gone by, riverboat casino cruises may have been the only means by which to enjoy gambling legally, but now they’re a popular and charming option for both locals and tourists alike. Live Poker is allowed in those licensed casinos, and even at home ‘as long as there is no profit to be gained from hosting or participating’ in such games.
It must be noted here that online gambling is strictly prohibited in Louisiana. Now, in other states across the US, the law only prohibits the running of an online gambling organisation. In Louisiana, both running such an organisation or profiting from one (whether local or international) is not allowed. For this reason, it is better to stick to mobile social casinos, or learn how to play on Facebook casinos.
While dog racing is strictly prohibited, horse racing is a popular form of gambling in Louisiana, with plenty of licensed race tracks to attend and bet at.
Bingo and Lottery
As with many states, charitable gambling options including Bingo, raffles and keno-style games are all available and legal in Louisiana, along with a state and inter-state lottery.
There is something of a general consensus when it comes to the southern states of the US, that being that these regions are more conservative than their northern counterparts. Probably in part due to its complex history, Louisiana is incredibly liberal when it comes to getting one’s game on. In fact, in contrast to many other states, Louisiana is very open and even promotes casinos and horse racing as fun and enjoyable activities to partake in when visiting this state. The list of gambling options is quite healthy, with plenty of land-based casinos to choose from, as well as riverboat casino cruises. Live poker is allowed in licensed casinos, while many establishments are allowed to house up to 3 video poker machines, including restaurants and pubs. Lottery and Bingo games prove massively popular, too, so while online gambling may be strictly prohibited in this southern state, there are still plenty of other ways in which to game and have fun. Those who really do enjoy playing casino games on their mobile phones or computers should err on the side of the law and opt rather for fun play casinos and free play online casinos – that way, no real money is used, and one can play as much as one likes without concern for legal implications.