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Louisiana Gambling Laws

Think Louisiana is only known for Mardi Gras and great food? The Bayou State is also well known for its gambling industry. People come from across the South to eat in casino restaurants and to gamble on riverboats. While the Mississippi Gulf Coast has numerous casinos, almost all forms of gambling are illegal in neighboring Texas and Arkansas.

State laws govern whether gambling is legal. If it is permitted, the state also determines which types of gambling are allowed and under which terms and restrictions. Casinos are permitted in certain jurisdictions in the Bayou State. And Louisiana, like Missouri and Illinois, also allows gambling on riverboats. A riverboat refers to anything floating in the water, which results in many riverboats consisting of large structures on anchored barges near the shore. Note that gambling on commercial cruise ships that travel internationally (beyond 12 miles offshore) is also legal in the state.

The specifics of Louisiana gambling laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section 14:90 et seq.; 27:201 et seq.
Gambling Intentional conducting a game or contest in which a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit.
Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting Horse racing on licensed racetracks, interstate and international parimutuel wagering legal.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Dog racing prohibited.
Casinos Allowed? Riverboat gambling allowed. Casinos allowed in selected jurisdictions. Must be over age 21 to play video poker.
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Gambling allowed on international commercial cruise ships sailing to ports in parishes with populations of 475,000 or more. Bona fide charitable raffles, bingo and Keno legal. Gambling via Internet illegal. Social gambling allowed.

Casinos and racetracks in Louisiana feature video poker machines, as do a number of restaurants, gas stations, bars and truck stops. In Louisiana, if a business has a liquor license, this license generally also allows you to have up to three video gaming machines. (But check your parish's statute to be certain.) Truck stops can operate more video poker machines depending on the amount of fuel they sell. Most states also provide strict zoning regulations to separate racetracks and casinos from schools and residential areas. At the federal level, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act regulates all gambling establishments on Indian reservations.

Louisiana Gambling Laws: Related Resources

State gaming regulations can be different from state to state and can change over time. If you would like legal advice regarding a gaming matter, you can contact a Louisiana gaming law attorney in your area. You can also visit FindLaw’s Gaming Law section for more articles and resources on this topic.

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