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Those who have played at both an online and a land-based casino will know that they have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which is better depends primarily on the individual’s personal preferences.
However, the continued and rapid technological advancements means that online casinos have improved leaps and bounds and offer a staggering array of games, sporting options at your fingertips.
Players in the Bayou State now have these exciting options available to them that they did not have up to the end of 2021 and can now choose bricks-and-mortar or bits-and-bytes for sports betting.
Why did it take so long for Louisiana to legalize this?
In this article, we look at the history behind gambling in Louisiana, some aspects that make a good casino, and why playing online may be the best option for Louisianians.
Gambling and the Law in Louisiana
Louisiana has a gambling history as rich as the state’s history. This state, full of Southern charm, has changed hands several times.
The Spanish were the first to arrive in 1519, and the French claimed ownership of the land in 1682 when they named the land Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV of France.
Residents gamble instead of attending mass.
The residents’ love of gambling was evidenced by billiard halls and cabarets being built before anyone considered building a church! To rub salt into the wounds, when the cathedral was finished, some residents preferred to go gambling instead of attending mass.
In 1803, Louisiana was purchased from the French by President Jefferson and it became part of the US.
Casinos continued to flourish in New Orleans, but in 1866, the State replaced casino gambling with a state lottery, which was wildly popular with the residents. Out-of-state residents were allowed to purchase tickets for the Louisiana Lottery via mail, making the lottery popular throughout the states.
This remained the only form of real-money gambling, apart from horse racing, that was permitted in the state until the early 1990s.
1993 – At long last, casinos are again legal!
In 1993, Louisiana legalized casinos, and 15 licenses were issued. The majority of the licenses were to riverboats, but two land-based licenses were issued for casinos in New Orleans.
Fast forward to today, and there are now over 60 casinos in Louisiana. Some still operate on riverboats, while others are land-based. New Orleans boasts five of these.
Sports betting finally legalizes.
In January 2022, Louisiana legalized online sports gambling with the passing of two bills, HB697 and SB249. These set up the framework for sports betting.
But…..there is always a “But.”
There are wrinkles associated with this. 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana approved online sports betting. This means that only people who live within those 54 parishes will be permitted to bet online. Geolocation software is used to ensure that the device is within the boundaries of those parishes.
Also, no casino games have been authorized, so lovers of roulette, poker, blackjack, and slots will have to wait a little longer.
What Stops Online Gambling In Louisiana?
If sportsbooks are legal in Louisiana, why are casinos still banned?
Louisiana has indeed made inroads towards full online gambling, but the fact remains that real money online gaming is still illegal.
Federal law in the form of The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is unambiguous and makes the taking or receiving of financial transactions related to online wagering an illegal activity.
UIGEA was signed by George W Bush in 2006 and remains in force today.
The law is unpopular, and many have argued that it is similar to the Prohibition Act in the 1920s and has the same effect. It stops legalized, controlled online gaming and has driven this elsewhere, as millions of Americans now use offshore-based operations.
So, What Options do Louisianans Have?
Residents of the Bayou State cannot legally game online for real money, but there are other options open to them.
Social Casino Sites and Apps
It is possible to go to one of the Play Stores and find gambling apps, but these do not allow you to play for real money and are known as Social Casinos.
Players will gamble with tokens supplied by the site, but you cannot win real money through these sites.
As no real money is changing hands, these apps and sites do not constitute gambling and are perfectly legal to play.
Some sites do offer Cash Prizes which are won using Sweep coins. Sweep coins, usually, cannot be purchased, and they are won as prizes by playing with tokens. The Sweep coins are then entered into a competition where the prize is a cash amount. This almost constitutes a lottery, and the transaction is not an online bet, so it’s not illegal.
Main Street Casinos
Gambling has been legal in Louisiana for many years, and there are many casinos from which to choose from.
These casinos are strictly regulated, but you can relax knowing your money is always safe and secure. You can gamble at all the classic casino games and deposit and withdraw money freely.
Offshore licenses refer to companies that offer online gaming to US residents, but the company is based beyond the US authorities’ reach.
This means that US residents can gamble for real money online using offshore casino sites, irrespective of where they live.
But, yes, there is a but……
Using these sites also means that you have no protection under US law if anything goes wrong, so be sure to read all the terms and conditions of the site you use.
So how can you protect yourself?
In this case, it is a genuine case of buyer beware and we do your due diligence. The last thing we want you to do is Google online betting and pick the first site you see.
We cannot stress enough that we have assessed the online casinos very carefully and only recommend those that are reputable, licensed, and accept US residents.
Then How Do We Choose an Online Site?
As we have already said, we spend time carefully looking at the new online casino sites before recommending any of them to you.
To give you confidence, here are some of the features we investigate before recommending a casino to you.
Security and Licensing
Unfortunately, not one organization regulates online gaming around the world. This means that any country can set itself up to issue online gaming licenses and, as with most things, some are good, and others not so much..
That is why we look into organizations that have stringent license conditions for getting the permit and where regular checks are carried out to ensure that the company fulfills its obligations.
These licenses are from places such as Malta, Isle of Man, Kahnawake and Curacao.
Other reliable licenses come from Panama and Costa Rica.
So, we start by searching to see if the site is licensed or not. If there is no license, we cross it off our list immediately.
Now, consider how online games are played. Most use a Random Number Generator to spin wheels or deal cards. We want a site where this technology is regularly audited to ensure that it is fair to you, the player. Several auditing companies fulfill this function, so we look for their seal of approval. These companies include UKGC, NMi, ITech Labs, eCOGRA and BMM Test Labs.
Games on Offer
We look for a casino that has a wide variety of games on offer. This is important, as we do not want you to have to sign-up with many different casinos to play an array of different games.
There should also be a variety of slot games such as standard slots and jackpots, as well as 3D slots. There should be games that offer features such as free spins, bonus rounds and storylines.
Poker is another global online favorite, and our selected casinos offer a variety of poker options such as online and live tournaments.
An important consideration for us are the suppliers of the games at the casino. We want top-class software that runs on multiple platforms and is rated as fair and reliable, so we look for suppliers such as Microgaming, Betsoft, and IGT.
Lastly, we assess the software platform that is used for the casino. We are looking for software such as, but not limited to, GAN, Scientific Games Digital and Gamesys.
Stuff for Free
What gambler doesn’t love the idea of getting something for nothing?
The only way to claim freebies at an online casino is to see what bonuses and other free offers they give.
A word of warning from us before you start grabbing bonuses. Often bonuses are tied to heavy restrictions and conditions, so be sure to check out the Ts and Cs before grabbing what looks like a fabulous deal!
All casinos offer some form of Welcome Bonus that either is a set amount or matches your first deposit. A first deposit match is likely to be more favorable and can be many thousands of dollars, along with enticements to match your first few deposits.
The set bonus will most likely be in the form of free spins or small cash amounts.
We assess the daily, weekly, and monthly bonuses and promotions the casino advertises. Additionally, any casino worth its salt will have a tempting VIP program that offers exciting promotions and bonuses, so this is also added to our list..
We attach a great deal of importance to this as we know you intend to deposit money with an entity that is not based in the US and is beyond the US authorities’ reach.
We do caution players that the major credit card corporations are US-based and may not permit you to use your credit card to pay an online casino. This will also be true for bank transfers from many American banks.
As we understand that you may be barred from using these standard banking methods, PayPal or other eWallet options are great alternatives.
Cryptocurrencies are also becoming more and more popular in the online gambling world, so they are also a good option to consider. Bitcoin casinos are becoming extremely common these days.
For withdrawing your winnings, you can use PayPal, where will get the cash to you quickly, whereas other options such as bank transfer or check in the mail will take considerably longer. Fast withdrawal casinos are understandably extremely popular amongst casino players.
All this PT – Why Not Just Go to a Land-Based Casino?
That is a good question so let me briefly provide you with five reasons why you should put your feet up and gamble from the comfort of your own home:
Going to a land-based casino requires getting dressed appropriately and battling traffic to get there, paying for parking and, sometimes, expensive drinks. At home you can be comfortable, no traffic and drinks are bottle-store prices.
The alternative , which involves getting your friends around and enjoying a casual evening of fun, can often be even more exciting (and cheaper) than going to a casino..
Sports betting with friends while watching the game can provide hours of entertainment.
If you have chosen wisely, you have thousands of games available, all at your fingertips. There is no wandering around, waiting for a particular game to come free – you find what you want and play. No-fuss, no stress.
Also, competition for players is fierce. You will find your casino will always offer the latest games.
Authentic online casinos offer a means for you to limit your daily, weekly, or monthly spending. This helps you manage the amount spent in the casino.
You do not have to spend time looking for a member of staff. Go to the Live Chat and start chatting with instant response.
Online casinos have significantly lower operating costs than their land-based cousins. They can offer considerably higher bonuses and promotions.
The internet has undoubtedly made life easier, , and this also applies to gambling online using an offshore site. If you choose a site that we have recommended, you’ll be able to enjoy thousands of games, often enough with exciting bonuses and promotions.