Louisiana, with a population of 4.65 million (2019) and home to the ultimate party town of New Orleans, has plenty of sports betting potential. And that potential should start to become reality in the next few months.
‘The Bayou State’ is very close to legalizing sports betting in time for the 2021 football season, with two of three bills already passed and the third expected to follow imminently.
New Orleans has the Saints, one of the NFL’s premier pro footbal franchises. It also has the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.
In college sports the Louisiana State University Tigers (LSU) is a traditional winner, particularly in football. Playing in the powerful SEC Conference, it won its last national title in 2019, with quarterback Joe Burrow subsequently being taken #1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Major sporting events are regularly held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans – home of the Saints. It has played host to a number of Super Bowls over the years, hosted CBB’s ‘Final Four’ in 2020 and stages CFB’s annual Sugar Bowl matchup.
Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?
Technically yes, sports betting is legal in the state of Louisiana. You just can’t actually do it right now.
Some 55 of 64 parishes voted in favor of rolling out sports betting late in 2020. For the moment, however, the details need to be worked out before the action begins. So far, two of the three sports betting bills put forward have passed and the third should do so easily. That will line up legal sports betting in time for the 2021 football season in September.
The legislation includes provision for both retail and online betting in the state, and projections are high for the revenue Louisiana can bring in ($20million per year). It has also ensured that the Louisiana State Lottery can get involved too.
There will be 20 sports betting licenses up for grabs in the state for existing outlets. They will each be permitted two online skins. So a competitive marketplace is on the cards – that’s great news for bettors.
Legal sports betting near Louisiana
While you wait for Louisiana to properly open up, you CAN still bet on sports if you are willing to travel. State-by-state laws mean it’s all about where you are right now, not where you live.
The nearest options right now for Louisianans are as follows:
Arkansas: The state has been ‘legal’ since 2019, but with very limited options in the shape of a few of land-based sites. These are Oaklawn Casino Racing Resort (a five-hour drive from Louisiana in Hot Springs), Southland Casino Racing (six hours away in West Memphis) and Saracen Casino Annex (just under five hours away in Pine Bluff). The legal age to bet is 21.
Mississippi: Really early to market back in August 2018, but has no online or mobile options. For now you need to visit the state’s land or water-based casinos to bet on sports. The number of these sites does number more than 20. The legal age to bet is once again 21.
Are offshore sportsbooks legal in Louisiana?
No, despite what they might claim, offshore sportsbooks are not legally licensed to take bets in any state inside the union.
With that in mind, we strongly advise you not to sign up with offshore books. If you do the lack of consumer protection is dangerous, and something you could be left regretting.
For now, stick with looking for legal options in the U.S. We’ll keep you right up to date with your best options.