Louisiana is well-known for its delicious food, music, and festivals. Louisiana is also well-known for its gambling. People travel from all over the South to visit casinos and gamble on riverboats. Although the Mississippi Gulf Coast is home to many casinos, most forms of gambling in Arkansas and Texas are illegal. This article will provide a quick overview of legal and illegal gambling in Louisiana.
Gambling is defined in Louisiana as “the intention to conduct, or directly assist in the conducting of, as a business of any kind of game, context or lottery or contrivance in which a person may lose anything of value in order for them to realize a profit.”
LEGAL GAMBBLING IN LOUISIANA
Age restrictions: You must be at least 18 to participate in the horse track betting or state lottery. You must be 21 to gamble at a casino, or on a machine that plays video poker.
Louisiana law allows riverboat casinos. Riverboats are anything that is floating in the water. Many riverboats are constructed on large structures attached to anchored barges close to the shore. The state licenses a land-based casino in New Orleans, as well as on Indian tribal land. Horse racing betting is legal, but it’s illegal to wager on dogs.
Louisiana Lottery: Established in 1991, the Louisiana Lottery is a state lottery. The lottery’s proceeds are used to improve Louisiana’s education system. The Louisiana lottery offers scratch-off tickets, Powerball, numbers drawing and Power-ball.
Video poker: There are video poker machines at racetracks and casinos in Louisiana. Also, there are many restaurants, gas stations and bars that have them. Louisiana allows up to three video gambling machines for businesses that have a liquor license. Depending on how much fuel they sell, truck stops may have more video poker machines.
Social Gambling and Charitable Gaming: Legal in Louisiana, social gambling is allowed for recreational and non-business purposes. This includes betting on sports, pool games and personal bets. There are no fees or “cuts” from the management of the transaction. The only exception to awards to the winner. Some gambling activities, such as bingo, raffles and keno that are directly related to charitable fund-raising for nonprofit organizations are legal.
International waters for commercial cruise ships: It is legal to gamble on international cruise ships (as long as they travel beyond 12 miles offshore).
Taxes: All establishments that give a $600 or more one-time gambling award must report the winnings to the IRS and the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Gambling revenue must be reported on the federal and state tax returns of residents.
ILLEGAL GAMBLING IN LOUISIANA
La. R.S. R.S. 14:102.5 makes illegal the possession, keeping, or training of a dog for the purpose dogfighting, or any paraphernalia that is used to train dogs to fight. A first conviction can result in a $1000 fine and/or one year imprisonment. A second conviction can result in a $3000 fine and/or a maximum of three years imprisonment.
La. Cockfighting and gambling in relation to cockfighting. R.S. R.S. 14:102.23 makes illegal any person who organizes or conducts any private or commercial cockfight in which it is reasonable to expect that chickens will be hurt. It is also illegal to purchase, train, or possess chickens for cockfighting. A first offense conviction can result in a maximum $1000 fine and/or six months imprisonment. A second offense conviction can result in a fine up to $2000 or one year imprisonment. A third offense conviction can result in a fine up to $2000 or three years imprisonment.
Property connected to illegal gambling may be confiscated by the state: If convicted, the state can seize all property related to illegal gambling.
Louisiana bans computer gambling. Computer gambling refers to the conduct of any type of game, lottery, or other activity that involves the risk of losing anything in order to make a profit from the internet. A conviction can result in a $500 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment.
Gambling in public: The statute specifically prohibits unauthorized gambling in public. Violations can result in a $500 fine and up to six months imprisonment.
Gambling under 21: Anyone younger than 21 years old cannot play video poker or gamble in a casino. Participation in the state lottery and horse track betting is against the law for anyone younger than 18. Violations can result in a $500 fine and/or six months imprisonment.