US Gambling in Louisiana

Louisiana, the Child of the Mississippi is a relatively small state with just 51,000 miles of land, which ranks 31st in the nation as far as size. In population, it lands right in the middle with about 4.6 million residents.

There are several spoken languages in this state including English, French, Spanish and other dialects that are targeted for that region. Louisiana was the 18th state admitted to the union back on April 30th, 1812.

The state is also known for their music, food and unique culture, which includes Mardi Gras in February. Anyone traveling to Louisiana will certainly have a different experience with their cultural mix.

Gambling History

The gambling history in the state goes back hundreds of years, even before the territory was a part of the United States. Gambling was so rich in the region that at the beginning of the 19th century when Louisiana was included in the Union, it was offering more gambling locations than Boston, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia put together.

This created a difficult legal situation, as the new state government kept changing their mind about the legality of these operations. In reality, the casinos just continued to operate regardless of the state’s decisions and laws, something that happened for close to 200 years.

The first changes to this scenario happened in the 1920s when pari-mutuel and horse racing were approved. A few decades later there was an additional motivation to make gambling legal, a budget shortfall and the need for tax revenues.

This lead to the approval of the state lottery and the construction of casinos in New Orleans, which happened in 1986. After some failure, finally in 1990, a constitutional amendment was approved and the lottery was readmitted.

In 1991, 15 riverboats were permitted too, along with the placement of video poker machines in several commercial locations: restaurants, bars, and even convenience stores, making them be in every single corner of the state.

The Casinos

Currently, Louisiana is home to 24 casinos, including racinos, riverboats, tribal casinos and one land-based casino in New Orleans. With such a big offer it’s pretty easy for the residents to find a game to play, considering they are in the south or northwest areas of the state, where the casinos are clustered.

The casinos in the Northwest are mostly in Shreveport and Bossier City, and here we count one racino and seven riverboats, which are mostly in the Red River. Their proximity made this area a well-known gambling center, which also attracts players from Texas.

In the Southwest region of Louisiana gambling is located mostly around Lake Charles, with 3 casinos, including the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, opened in 2014, and that already added 300 hotel rooms to their original configuration, such as the demand. Delta Downs another popular location in the area, a racino in Vinton close to Houston, which for this reason is also growing.

In the Southeast gambling circles around New Orleans and Baton Rouge: six casinos exist in the area, being Harrah’s New Orleans the most notable one. The northeast region of the state doesn’t have any casinos, but their citizens can find them just across the state border in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Summing up the Types of Gambling Found in Louisiana

There are several different casino types available within the state. Louisiana has a great gambling presence. It can be deemed as one of the more open states for gaming of all types. Currently, there are more than twenty different casinos to choose from, all close in proximity to different cities.

Gaming for this state requires players to be at least 21 or over to enter and play in a land-based casino. Pari-mutuel racetracks are also something that is found around the state where players can start betting at just 18 years of age.
Louisiana is not among the states within the union which do not allow a lottery to be used. The lottery for Louisiana welcomes players at 21 or over. Lotteries are popular because they offer the state more revenue for school systems and other public programs.

Unlike what happens in the rest of the country, in Louisiana, there are fines and jail time waiting for the operators who try to create online gambling sites. Lawmakers didn’t legalize online gambling, which is extended to fantasy sports gambling, including the most well-known operators: DraftKings, Yahoo Sports or Fanduel.

With the opposition of the numerous land-based casinos in the state, it’s unlikely that legislation for online gambling will be approved in Louisiana any time soon.

Golden Nugget Casino Review - Lake Charles