What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Louisiana? Playing online poker legally from within the state of Louisiana might seem like a forgone conclusion considering that New Orleans is one of the largest party destinations in the United States, and there are half a dozen cities in the state with large casino resorts. However, the laws that pertain to poker playing in the state are less than favorable on the surface. But luckily, they are toothless laws which were put on the books over two decades ago and have never been enforced against a citizen, not even once!
The outdated laws that might deter one from enjoying an online game found their way onto the books back when the cities of Lake Charles and Shreveport were bringing riverboat gambling to their respective cities. A law, §90.3, was put on the books prohibiting "gambling by computer" in the 1990s. This law appears to target the operators of online gambling operations and not individual gamblers. Moreover, not a single person has ever been indicted or prosecuted for playing poker in the state (or anywhere else in the United States for that matter). The law itself imposes fairly small penalty, a $500 fine, if in some bizarro universe the state ever went after an individual.
In fact, a search through the Louisiana gambling laws yields only five mentions of the word "poker" at all. Every single one of them is preceded by the word "video." The laws regarding video poker are serious business. Video poker is big money in Louisiana and can be found at thousands of bars, diners, truck stops, etc. However, video poker and online poker are two completely different things and the video poker laws do not apply to Internet poker. The state of LA has ignored Internet poker, much like the overwhelming majority of other states.
Offshore poker sites, for the most part, have thus decided to allow Louisiana residents to play online poker freely on their websites. Louisianans have a rather large selection of sites with solid bonuses available to them. Listed below is a full list of poker sites that accept players from the state of Louisiana and what they have to offer.
Ignition Poker, which is part of the Bodog Poker Network is our number one option for players from Louisiana. New players can take advantage of a generous deposit bonus of up to $2,000 ($1,000 max for poker, $1,000 max for casino). These deposit bonuses clear at the fastest rate of any US friendly poker site. Small depositors will note that their bonus clears at an astounding 100% rakeback equivalent. For the high rollers taking advantage of the full $1,000 bonus, it will clear at a 33.5% effective rate.
The game quality at Ignition is also top-notch. Ignition has some very easy tournaments and cash games relative to the all other online sites, domestic and international. And boy do they have a lot of them! According to Pokerscout.com the 7-day rolling average for cash game players 1500 simultaneous players. If you add in the tournament and sit and go players, the numbers approach 10,000 players! This is good enough to make Ignition the largest US-friendly site in existence and the third largest site in the entire world.
Ignition is mobile friendly, so you can fire up a quick cash game any time you have a spare 10 minutes to kill. Both Windows and Mac gaming clients ensure maximum compatibility with your devices and maximum opportunity to partake in those soft games. By the way, the cash games they offer include: Holdem in both fixed and no limit versions, Omaha in pot limit and fixed limit, and Omaha high low in fixed limit. They have a 2 million dollar plus per week tournament schedule that culminates in a 100k guaranteed event each Sunday. And they have a big variety of regular speed and fast speed sit and go tournaments. Cash games start at the penny stakes and end at $2,000 high roller buy-ins. Likewise tournaments and SNGs start in the $1 range and go up to $540 events.
Ignition also has a brand new online casino with a $1,000 initial bonus and unlimited $1,000 bitcoin reload bonuses available to LA-based players. At last count they offered over 600 casino games, if you are into that sort of thing.
If you would like to start playing Ignition Poker from the comfort of your own home or the convenience of your mobile device, then you can follow this link to get the best deposit bonus offer available!
Chico Poker Network, headlined by BetOnline, has seen a fairly meteoric rise in its traffic over the past couple of years. This has made the network an intriguing possibility for many players as they offer good games, a Sit n’ Go leaderboard and many other promotions. While they don’t offer rakeback, players can take advantage of deposit and reload bonuses fairly regularly. This room is a good option for sit-n-go players and full ring cash game players as both are a fairly popular variant on the site. According to PokerScout.com the 7-day average is 800 players.
The cash game action is pretty solid thanks to the site not supporting 3rd party tracking software applications, and thus resulting in fewer pro players at the tables. Games starting at 1 cent / 2 cent and going all the way up to $5 / $10 are available pretty much around the clock. Unfortunately, while Chico is great for cash games such as No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha, they are lacking somewhat when it comes to tournaments. The tournament action is geared towards lower stakes players with buy-ins ranging from $1-$22. Above that level, there aren't many high dollar buy-in events to partake in. Though on the last Sunday each month they do run an exceptionally soft $50,000 gtd NLHE tournament.
Chico Network also has a very robust and active sportsbook, as well as an online casino option for players. Chico Network also offers more promotions for both the sportsbook and casino than we can comfortably fit into this article, and besides, they are constantly changing them. Our only word of warning when taking a gambling bonus at a Chico site is that they will not let players withdraw funds until the bonus is cleared or expires, which means that your funds will typically be locked down for 30-90 days depending on what type of bonus you take. The good news is, that once you do decide to withdraw your winnings, the payout options are quite varied and above industry norms in terms of speed. They offer bank wires and bitcoin and everything in-between. We recommend bitcoin, so take a moment to learn about using bitcoin for online poker in our bitcoin guide.
Grand Poker Network may be the newest poker room on this list, but their parent company has been around for two decades. 5Dimes Group is one of the most trusted names in sports betting, known for taking very large bets from recreational gamblers and pros alike. They don't discriminate, which is rare at an online sportsbook. The reputation they have built up over the years in the gambling industry has transferred over to their new poker room venture, and potential players should have no issues trusting such a site, a welcome change from the fear that typically goes along with newer, unproven sites. While the traffic is geared towards smaller stakes currently, the room is still growing thanks to offering an aggressive 50%+ rakeback deal through Professional Rakeback, as well as soft games thanks to all the casino and sports bettors punting at the poker tables after big scores. That is the hallmark of the room and it is a great opportunity for players to take advantage of.
Another shining point of the GPN is the cashier. Whether you are looking to deposit some funds or to withdraw your hard-earned winnings, they offer a huge variety of options, more so than any other online site. At last count, they offered a dozen different methods, many not offered by other sites. 5Dimes makes it exceptionally easy to move money from your poker account to sportsbook or casino depending on what you want most and where you feel your greatest edge is. You will still have access to the bitcoin deposits and withdrawals offered through Grand Poker network, so this means some of the quickest and easiest funding of accounts can be yours exceptionally easily, as outlined in our awesome guide on how to set up these deposits and withdrawals. Grand Poker Network offers one of the premiere sportsbooks and casinos available to US-based players.
To become a member at 5Dimes and gain access to their casino, sportbook and poker clients, as well as 50%+ poker rakeback, follow the link provided here.
Winning Poker Network, which consists of about a dozen skins cooperating and sharing players in a large network, is the second largest poker room available to players from Louisiana. The safest rooms on that network, available to players in this state, include America’s Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, PokerHost, and True Poker.
Winning Poker Network has a full host of games running around the clock and features numerous innovative offerings that aren’t available on other offshore networks, such as huge rake races, Jackpot Poker and a clone of the award-winning PokerStars VIP program. Winning Poker Network offers the "Elite Benefits" VIP program, which allows players to enjoy up to 65% effective rakeback, or a flat rakeback structure, with more casual players in mind. They also offer many value-added promotions for cash games, tournament and sit-n-go players. For example, high-end players will enjoy the buil- in "Beast" rake race to pad their bankrolls, while low-end players will thoroughly enjoy the "Freebuy" tournament series where hundreds of thousands of dollars of tournaments are available via free entry!
Cash game selection has the widest range of any US-friendly offshore sites. Games range from $2 max buy-in all the way up to $5,000 max buy-in games. Most of the traffic is centered around NLHE and PLO, however, there is a good bit of Omaha hi/lo action and also some semi-regular 7-card stud games. WPN is the only place 7-card stud is available for US players as a matter of fact.
Sit and Go action is centered around Jackpot SNGs, a game type where the 3 man game's prize pool varies from 2x the buy-in, up to 1,000x the buy-in! The games are hyper-turbo in nature and are a fun way to kill off 5-7minutes of your time (note the quick average game times!) For high volume SNG players, there is also a built-in points race that adds additional value on top of standard VIP benefits.
Tournament action on WPN is very robust. Each week they offer two tournaments with guaranteed prize pools over $100,000 USD. Every 2-3 months they run a $1,000,000 guaranteed special tournament with a top prize of over $200,000 which they will happily wire directly to your bank if you're lucky enough to take it down. For more average players, the Monday-Friday tournament schedule is excellent and rivals that of any other online site, including our top pick of Ignition. The weekly Pot Limit Omaha tournament is the largest of all sites, with a 35k guarantee.
Winning Poker Network is also a bitcoin friendly room, so players will be able to deposit and withdraw safely, quickly and effectively. If you aren't into bitcoin just yet, they have all the traditional funding methods such as credit card, Western Union, Money Gram, etc. According to PokerScout.com the 7-day average is 900 cash game players, making it the second largest site available to US players and the eighth largest network in the entire world.
If this sounds appealing to you, please use our links to sign up at any of the recommended WPN sites: America's Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, PokerHost, and True Poker. Signing up to any of these rooms through our website will entitle you to a 100% matching bonus of up to $1,000 that adds an additional 20% to your effective rakeback rate.
Players can expect relatively swift payouts from any of the sites we recommend above. In some areas some sites are faster than others, for example, Ignition will get a check out to you in about 5-7 business days where as one from the Winning Poker Network will likely take 8-12 business days, but we find both times to be fair and acceptable. Grand Poker Network and Chico Poker Network tend to send out the fastest cash payouts, though these are best utilized for withdrawal amounts under $800. All of the aforementioned sites have bitcoin withdrawal options that make payouts exceptionally fast, and we highly recommend that players learn how to utilze bitcoin for both deposits and withdrawals. As stated, other methods are adequate, but do take longer than the bitcoin option, hence are rather strong recommendation that you utilize crypto-currency. But rest assured, no matter your choice these sites provide easy and safe options for payouts.
Individual Online Gamblers
Louisiana really isn’t concerned whether individual players play poker online or not, so long as a few specific laws are kept in mind. Underage gambling and gambling in public are both strictly prohibited by the state. Even with those two exceptions though, online gambling itself is not outlawed in Louisiana and those laws are particulars on how gambling in general is conducted in the state. Any players obiding by those laws should encounter no legal problems in Louisiana.
Online Poker Operators
The laws surrounding operators are much stricter and well-defined than those for individuals in the state of Louisiana. Essentially operators are not tolerated to create a business within the state under state law. This is important, because the federal stance on online poker is murky (though improving in recent years). Louisiana strictly prohibits operators from operating in the state in reference to taking payments, facilitating any kind of gambling or setting up a game where individuals have a chance of losing something of value by accessing the internet. These laws do not apply to individual citizens though, and only refer to operators in the state. No operator has been sued or indicted in the state of Louisiana by using this law, despite it being an enforceable law.
How do Offshore Gambling Sites view Louisiana?
Most do not have a problem with offering games to LA citizens. Despite the laws on the books concerning operators of these games, nearly all sites still servicing US-based players are available in the state. There are no plans for any of these sites to stop servicing the state at any time, and it’s a fairly mundane assumption that if nothing changes in the legal landscape through regulation or indictments from the state government that nothing will change in regards to how potential offshore operators conduct business in this market. As a result it is safe to assume that online poker will continue to be offered by offshore sites to citizens of the state for the forseeable future.
Regulation Chances for Online Poker
Any chance of regulation is going to have to overcome very long odds as the state’s citizens and lawmakers tend to have a rather conservative mindset, despite being home to that nugget of debauchery, New Orleans. If regulation in the state does take place there is likely to be a bad actor clause in any such legislation as the state does strictly prohibit operators from offering games to citizens in the state right now. With that being said though, Harrah’s, The Golden Nugget, Pinnacle, and others already have a presence in the state with land based casino, so they will be able to provide regulated online poker to the state rather easily.
If regulation were to pass, there is also likely some offshore sites that would continue to offer games to the citizens of the state. Chico Poker Network and Grand Poker Network currently offer games to citizens of all 50 states, even the ones that currently have state regulation in place. It is unlikely that they would change their mind even if Louisiana were to pass legislation concerning the regulation of online poker or gambling. As Costa Rican based gaming companies, both Chico and Grand rely on International Trade Law and decisions by the World Trade Organization as their legal standpoint and seemingly aren't afraid to litigate should push come to shove.
Land Based Gambling
Louisiana is home to all types of gambling including state lotteries, tribal and non-tribal casinos and pari-mutual betting. This vast selection of gambling options puts Louisiana in a surprisingly strong position for individuals looking to place wagers at brick and mortar locations. The largest collection of casinos is in and around the New Orleans area, but are not limited to just this section of the state. One of the largest casinos in that region is a Harrah’s property, which is important as they bring the World Series of Poker Circuit there every year. Other smaller casinos also have poker, craps and blackjack available to their patrons.
Other hot spots for land based gambling can be found in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Lake Charles. All of which have casino-resorts and/or riverboat gambling establishments. All of which offer every conceivable table game known to man, as well as offering live poker games.
If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you. Here are a list of the states that border Louisiana and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Perhaps you are the more adventurous type and have decided that your secondary property is far removed from the sweltering and sticky sub-tropical Louisiana summers. Fear not, you aren't out of luck. We have an article that provides information on all 50 states and their real money online poker sites options.
If you have found this information helpful to you, please consider sharing it with your friends and family. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of their ability to still play poker on the Internet. Let us grow our favorite pastime together by disseminating knowledge!