Louisiana Online Poker Law
With 22 casinos, Louisiana is a major player is the United States casino industry, and if everything continues to go in the right direction, online poker players who live here will be able to access online poker rooms sooner rather than later.
In 2012, people spent more than $2.4 billion at the state’s casinos, putting Louisiana in the top five markets in the country in that category. And its seems that forward-thinking politicians on both sides of the aisle in Louisiana realize what is about to happen to online gaming in the United States and want a piece of the Easter pie.
In 2013, lawmakers asked their House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice and the Senate Committee on Judiciary to pull together a comprehensive report on online gaming and poker to how it will affect Louisiana, and how it could be implemented in the state.
The joint committee will seek input from the “office of the Governor, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the office of state police, its gaming division, the gaming division of the office of the attorney general, the gaming industry, and any other parties deemed appropriate by the committee.”
This is the first step for Louisiana that will eventually lead to the implementation of online poker and casino gaming there. It’s being spearheaded by State Rep. Mike Huval, a Republican. Lawmakers had to vote to complete the study, and it passed 62-22. It shows that both Republicans and Democrats are curious about the future of online poker and gambling in the state.
There’s a question whether Gov. Bobby Jindal, a conservative superstar, would be willing to expand gambling in his state. He’s given no signs either way.
The joint committee will present its findings to the state legislators early in 2014, leaving an outside chance that online poker could be approved there the same year.
If any state should have online poker, it’s Louisiana, where poker was said to be invented in the 1820s. Louisiana is still home to a robust poker community, with the centerpiece being the Harrah’s New Orleans poker room.
Online poker faces a legal hurdle that would have to be eliminated. A state law passed in 1997 makes it illegal to place wagers using a computer in Louisiana. A legal maneuver will have to be performed before any type of online poker law takes effect.
When Will I Get to Play Online Poker in Louisiana?
Despite being a traditionally conservative state politically, Louisiana has showed leeway in similar political issues. Also, it’s a state that’s hurting for cash, and online poker and gambling would boost its coffers substantially. Look for its legislature to debate online poker in 2014, and even possibly voting on law. Online poker should be available to Louisiana residents by 2016.
How Large is Louisiana’s Poker Market?
With a population of about three million adults over the age of 21, about 300,000 potential online poker players live in Louisiana. It’s approximately the same online poker market as Ireland, where online poker is not only legal, but thrives.