In late January Louisiana became the most recent US state to legalize online sports betting. Residents of the state can now make online sports wagers with one of six different sportsbooks. More are expected to be added to that number soon.
The arrival of sports betting in the Pelican State has many wondering if online casino gambling will be next. Could online blackjack and craps be coming to Louisiana soon? We have some thoughts on the subject.
Online Louisiana Sports Betting
The road to legalized online sports betting in Louisiana was long. At times it seemed as though the necessary measures would never come to pass. Then, on January 28th 2022, six online sportsbooks were allowed to begin accepting bets from Louisiana bettors:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Fan Duel
- Draft Kings
The state gaming commission stated that these initial licenses were just the beginning. Another 8 licenses are expected to be issued in the coming year. Each online sportsbook in Louisiana is tied to a physical casino in the state.
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Approved in 2021, the state had hoped to see the first online sports bets placed before the end of that year. The problem was in the implementation of so-called gatekeeper software which restricts gambling activity from certain parishes. In Louisiana, each parish is allowed to decide for itself if sports betting will be allowed. A small number of parishes opted out when voting was held in 2021.
The software for online sportsbooks has to be capable of filtering out users based on location, blocking those individuals who are not allowed to play. This was more difficult to develop than the state realized, and by the time the software was ready it was 2022.
The good news is that the arrival of online sports betting in Louisiana happened just in time for bettors to watch and wager on Super Bowl LVI on February 13th. It just so happens that the game will feature the Super Bowl debut of Joe Burrow, a standout for LSU who led the Louisiana team to the National Championship in college football.
Online Sportsbooks Roll Out Huge Bonuses in Louisiana
As the online sportsbooks have sought to capture the attention of the very first bettors, generous bonuses were offered to those who signed up in advance of the official launch. Caesars gave every bettor that pre-registered $300 in bonus cash, and also provided a $3,000 matching deposit bonus. BetMGM offered four free $50 bets. Each of these offers was given with a 1X wagering requirement, making it much easier for the bettors to play and cash out their winnings.
Other online Louisiana sportsbooks followed suit. They offered a mix of matching deposit bonuses in addition to various prop bets. This shows that the competition will be fierce for the sportsbooks and the casinos that are behind them.
Could Online Casinos Arrive In Louisiana Soon?
The question that many people will ask now that online sports betting is live in Louisiana is very obvious. Will online casino gambling games like blackjack and craps and slots be legalized in Louisiana next? The answer is looking more favorable for fans of online gambling.
Most would agree that the reason online gambling has not been legalized in Louisiana is the presence of live casinos. Without a connection to online casino platforms the live gaming venues could stand to lose money. This would make them resistant to legalized online gaming.
Now, sports betting is demonstrating a valid model for brick-and-mortar casinos. The live casinos could push for similar licensing requirements as the sportsbooks. This would mean that every online casino would need to be licensed to a physical casino.
Also consider the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the live casinos of Louisiana. Some were forced into closure while others barely managed to survive. They are now realizing that having an online casino option for Louisiana residents during the pandemic would have been a great solution. It may have even helped some of the closed casinos to remain in business.
What is great about the existence of online sportsbooks in the state is that some of them already have successful online casino platforms in place. These include Caesars and BetMGM. It would require very little development for these companies to move their existing platforms into the state.
Popular Online Casino Games in Louisiana
Using the stats from live casino gaming as a model, one can somewhat project what might become the most popular online gambling games in Louisiana. Topping the list would be blackjack and all of its variations.
Gambling card games have been popular in Louisiana for many years. This includes the Cajun game of Booray. While Booray has not been played in casinos, the Cajuns of South Louisiana have a fondness for gambling with cards. Blackjack and Texas Hold ‘Em Poker are the two most popular card games found throughout the state at live gambling venues.
Craps would be next on the list. This game also has roots in the Cajun community. It’s popularity among the native Louisiana peoples can probably be chalked up to its simplicity. Of course, the live casino and online versions offer many more bets to make.
Finally, slot machines have been popular in Louisiana for many years now thanks to the state’s horse racing tracks. Many tracks feature the machines which were permitted in an effort to help save the struggling horse racing industry. It is reasonable to expect that players would also like these games online.
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