Can You Play Online Poker in Louisiana?
No, you cannot play online poker legally in Louisiana. Like many other states in America, the legal status of online poker in Louisiana is quite unfavorable for players. The state’s penal code prohibits it, which is why no licensed online poker sites are operating within the state. Players who want to play poker in Louisiana have to visit brick-and-mortar casinos and live video poker rooms to play.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Louisiana?
The gambling laws in Louisiana explicitly forbid online poker within the state. In fact, Louisiana is one of the few states where internet gambling is outrightly outlawed in the penal code. In the 1990s, a law was passed prohibiting “gambling by computer”. This law mainly targets operators of online gambling sites, with a fine of up to $500 or a jail sentence for defaulters.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board is in charge of enforcing this law and monitoring both online and offline gambling activities within the state. Based on the current state of legislation in Louisiana, only betting sites are allowed to operate lawfully. There are no licensed online casinos offering Louisiana online poker and other forms of gambling.
The only alternative for poker enthusiasts who want to enjoy Louisiana online poker is to play on offshore poker sites. These are websites domiciled outside the United States, which makes them free from the restrictions that apply to local gambling sites.
Offshore sites like Ignition and ACR Poker will accept registration from players in Louisiana and allow them to play online poker for real money. But despite their obvious appeal, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing on offshore poker sites. These sites operate outside US jurisdictions and are not subject to the same standards of fair game as legitimate gambling sites in the US.
Also, there are no legal measures to protect the money used to play on these sites. In the unfortunate case of fraud or unexpected shutdown of these sites, there’s a real risk of losing your money with no hope of recovery.
Potential Louisiana Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Louisiana for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in LA will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in LA, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Louisiana
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker LA will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, LA is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Louisiana would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third LA poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.