Louisiana is a unique state for gambling and entertainment in that, it has land-based casinos, racetracks, and video poker establishments for real money betting. As online options grow for other countries in the world, the US still has strict laws against gambling online, with Louisiana being one of the states that strictly prohibits online gambling from casinos based in the United States.
As with most laws, there are also a few gray areas that give players some freedoms to have fun online, and if you are one of those parties who would like to learn more, the following will breakdown everything you need to know before placing a bet on your favorite casino games.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Louisiana?
There is currently no law that allows players to gamble for real money online, which includes online casinos that are based within the state (there are a few unregulated casinos floating around). The laws currently in place for online gambling are mainly directed at illegal unlicensed sites that promote gambling to players in the state.
Players in Louisiana who enjoy placing a bet for entertainment are able to take part in pari-mutuel betting and charitable games like bingo or the lottery at land-based casinos or charitable establishments. There are also some businesses that are allowed to offer video poker to players outside a casino. The casinos in the state are the main centers for gambling with games like slots, video poker, and table games like blackjack and roulette.
Which Is Better – A Land-based or Online Casino?
There are many players who are loyal to their preferred form of gambling and each one will have their own set of pros and cons. While Louisiana has several land-based and riverboat casinos available, there are also many online casino sites that are offshore or unregulated for US players.
Historically, brick and mortar casinos were the main source of gambling for players who wanted to try their luck at winning the jackpot. While there are still many people who love to visit the casino for a little fun and excitement, they have seen a decline in players once online casinos arrived on the scene.
Some of the top land-based and riverboat casinos in Louisiana are:
- Harrah’s Casino New Orleans
- Golden Nugget Casino Lake Charles
- Margaritaville Resort Casino Bossier
- Horseshoe Casino Bossier City
- Delta Downs Casino Vinton
Although many physical casinos are beginning to introduce online gambling options, not all have that option. Giving players the atmosphere and interaction are still big reasons for players to keep their loyalties with classic casinos.
Some of the biggest benefits of land-based casinos are:
- Help boost the local economy
- Many locals can find a job at a casino since they require a lot of staff
- players are able to freely socialize and meet new people
- They are licensed and regulated
As with everything, there are also cons to brick and mortar casinos that have boosted the popularity of online gambling sites. They are:
- Not all players are able to travel to land-based casinos for entertainment
- There are fewer game types available due to Louisiana laws
- Preferred games might be occupied by other players when attending a casino
In the past, most gamblers had to make the trip to a local casino for their thrills, which takes up a lot of time when adding up the travel and time spent inside. Over the years, there has been a boom in popularity for online casinos for several reasons:
- They are convenient for 24/7 access
- Play any game instantly -no wait times
- Players often get special offers and promotions
- Many have the option to interact with dealers or players through the games
On the other hand, there are also some cons associated with online casinos, especially for states like Louisiana:
- US-based online casinos are illegal
- Some casinos that target US players are unlicensed and unregulated
- It can be easy to lose track of time and money spent
How to Find the Best Louisiana Online Casinos
Despite best efforts by lawmakers, there are still several online casinos that operate within the state. Other sites that offer gambling options to US players are located offshore and regulated by international laws and they do not have to follow any state regulations. The latter is most popular amongst US players who are looking for the fun and convenience of online gambling.
To avoid falling into a scam site that poses as a legitimate online casino, there are a few things that players should look out for before joining a casino group:
Sleek User-friendly Design
All online casinos have a lot of other sites to compete with and staying on top of the site design and user-friendly experience is one way they get and keep loyal players. Look at the overall site design to see how well it works and presents the game collections. Scam sites will often get slapped together haphazardly with pixelated images and a lack of user-friendly design.
Good Game Selection
To see if a site is even worth your time, check out their game collections to see if any of them suit your taste in gameplay. Since online casinos have few limits as to the games they can provide, they should have a good selection of game types. Most casinos will have a big selection of slots, jackpots, table games (blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker), live dealer games, and even sports betting.
Safety and Security
Since there are many sites that are unregulated, it pays to check for sites that have a license to offer players gambling online. They are normally located at the bottom of the main page or via customer support. Even though casinos are offshore, they are regulated by their respective jurisdictions while operating online.
Good Customer Support
Legitimate online casinos will offer decent customer support for any issues a player might face while enjoying the site. Look for easy access to support and the different options they offer for contacting them. Most sites will offer live chat, online form, email, or international phone number.
To test out support response time, feel free to send a query through and see how long it takes to reply, paying close attention to the answer they give as well. This contact should tell you all you need to know about how much support cares about the players.
How Can I Stay Safe Gambling for Real Money Online?
If you are ready to play online and have gone over the main factors to find a great site, there are a few simple steps to keep your personal information and money safe.
Research Popular Sites
One of the easiest ways to find a good online casino is to go a little research to find the most popular names out there. Read player reviews to see what all of the pros and cons are for particular sites. The reviews will often give you an idea of the game options, interface design, and customer service.
Set a Limit and Stick to It
Gambling is fun, exciting, and online games make it amazingly easy to lose track of your spending since you are not physically handling any money or chips. Set yourself a limit of money that you are comfortable to lose and stay with that amount. There is nothing worse than losing the money you can’t afford to lose.
Keep Your Information Safe
Look for data protection the online casino has. Most will have SSL encryption and other steps that help protect the site and the players. Most encryption information will be posted at the bottom of the main page, within the terms and conditions or within the customer support pages.