Louisiana Gambling Laws

Louisiana Online Gambling & Poker Laws
Legal Poker & Gambling Laws in Louisiana

Down in Louisiana, poker is a part of everyday life.  Over the last decade or so, online poker has also become a way of life, at least for some Louisiana residents.  But while poker is a pretty simple game, moving that simple game online has complicated things for some players.  Is it legal?  Who regulates the sites that offer poker in Louisiana? What is the general attitude of the state toward gambling, and how might that impact online poker players?  That and more are to follow in this article covering Online Poker in Louisiana.

Online Poker in Louisiana

Top Legal Online Poker Sites for Louisiana

If you're ready to play online poker, it's time to start focusing on what separates one room from another.  Our top Louisiana online poker rooms are selected based on reliability, security, legality and value.  While personal preference will always play a role, we suggest that players from Louisiana start their search with the rooms on our list below:

Can Poker Players From Louisiana Play Poker Online?

Nearly all online poker sites allowing US players accept new sign ups from the state of Louisiana.  The few that don't aren't worth your time anyway.  If you've run into a room in the past that didn't let you play for real money because you were from Louisiana, you may have gotten the wrong idea and assumed all online poker sites were closed to Louisianans.  The reality is that most of the major US-facing poker networks have no problems letting players from Louisiana make an account, deposit and play real money poker games online.

Online Poker Legal in Louisiana

Louisiana law has much to say about gambling, but that doesn't mean what it has to say is necessarily clear or obvious.  To help you get a better understanding of how Louisiana law might apply to playing online poker, here are some of the aspects of the law that potentially intersect with poker offered online:

  1. Louisiana law does not seem concerned with individual gamblers,  Much (potentially all) of the law is directed at those who are in the business of illegal gambling - that is to say, those who run, promote and profit from the games in roles other than that of a mere player.
  2. A few sections could apply to individual gamblers.  For example, Section 90.5 makes underage gambling a crime.  It's also a crime (Section 90.2) to gamble in public.  However, these are secondary offenses - it's not the gambling itself that is illegal, it's the manner in which the gambling is conducted.
  3. Louisiana law does directly address online poker.  Section 90.3, Gambling by Computer, forbids "the intentional conducting, or directly assisting in the conducting as a business of any game, contest, lottery, or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit when accessing the Internet."
  4. However, the law regarding online gambling - like the rest of Louisiana gambling law - has little to say about individual gamblers.  Our reading of the statute reveals no references to individual players in the section directly covering online gambling (Section 90.3).

For a more complete picture of Louisiana law as it pertains to online poker, review the complete Louisiana statutes at this link [1].  We urge readers not to treat this guide as legal advice - we aim only to highlight the specific parts of the law especially relevant to online poker players and not to provide a definitive answer on the legality of a particular act.

Will Louisiana Regulate Online Poker?

Online gambling expansion will likely face an uphill battle in Louisiana, where lawmakers have shown little motivation to propose or advance an online poker bill.  With that said, poker is quite popular in the state, and Louisiana is facing budgetary pressures that could make officials more amenable to online poker regulation should a larger opportunity involving multiple states present itself.  In short, there's little chance for regulated online poker in the immediate future, but if you stretch the timeline by a year or two the chances of some initiative to regulate online poker increase significantly.

Louisiana Gambling Facts

History of Gambling in Louisiana

It wasn't long after Louisiana became a state that regulated gambling was established within its boundaries.  A mere ten years after achieving statehood, the state issued licenses to what were called "temples of chance [2]" - forerunners of the modern casino.  Horse racing followed soon after, with the history of tracks in Louisiana stretching back all the way to the 1830s.  Believe it or not, gambling was so ubiquitous in the state that, for a time, there was a street in New Orleans actually called "Craps," after the dice game.  That street has long since been rechristened Burgundy Street, and the rest of the Louisiana gambling landscape has shifted similarly over the years - although much, at least in spirit, remains the same.

Regulated Gambling Options in Louisiana

Like Iowa, Louisiana offers all of the five major forms of regulated gambling to those in the state.  In addition to the state lottery you'll also have your pick from both commercial and tribal casinos, licensed charitable gambling and pari-mutuel wagering.  That means poker players in Louisiana have plenty of legal, regulated choices for games right at home.

Does Louisiana Offer any Regulated Online Gambling?

As of now, there are no state-regulated online gambling options in Louisiana.  Will that remain the case in the years to come?  It seems unlikely, as Louisiana has historically been quite open to gambling expansion.  We expect that many US states will offer some form of regulated gambling within the next five years, and Louisiana seems a safe bet to appear on that list.  For now, however, there's no such thing as a Louisiana-licensed online poker room or online casino.

Recent Louisiana Gambling Headlines

It's been a turbulent year for the Louisiana gambling industry.  Gambling revenues have been trending downward in recent quarters [3], and the state is still sorting through the messy process of transferring a bankrupt casino [4] to a new operator.  With competing casinos potentially on the horizon in bordering states, the same volatility is poised to continue to infect the state's gambling industry for the near term.

Louisiana Poker and Gambling Resources

LouisianaTravel.com [5].  A non-commercial, comprehensive guide to the casino options in the state of Louisiana.  Updated information and detailed resources are a welcome alternative to the plague of poorly-designed, inaccurate pages you often come across.

Louisiana Gaming Enforcement Division [6].  Home page for the GED, an agency housed within the Louisiana State Police.  Get basic answers, links to legal information, regulations and the financial aspects of gambling Louisiana.

Louisiana State Museum [7].  The museum houses a large collection of artifacts relating to gaming and gambling - including plenty of items from the state's long tradition of underground gambling.

Sources & Citations For This Article on Lousiana Online Poker