Louisiana  View map

Major events in Louisiana gaming history


The modern Fair Grounds reopens in Louisiana after a seven-year hiatus, on the site originally constructed in 1852


Jefferson Park opens


The legislature authorizes pari-mutuel wagering and the Louisiana Racing Commission is created


Jefferson Park is destroyed by Hurricane Betsy


Evangeline Downs opens in April


Jefferson Downs opens in August


Delta Downs opens in September


Louisiana Downs opens in October


Inter-track wagering begins


Off-track wagering begins in February
The Chitimacha Tribe opens its Bayou Teche Bingo hall


Voters approve a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery


The Lottery begins ticket sales on September 6
Riverboat casinos, one land-based casino and video poker are legalized


Video poker begins in Louisiana
In January, the Lottery introduces Lotto, its first online draw game
Last year of racing at Jefferson Downs


Harrah’s Star is the first riverboat to open in October; Players Lake Charles opens in December; both closed permanently after Hurricane Katrina in 2005
Cypress Bayou Casino opens in December


Eight more riverboat casinos open
Paragon Casino & Resort opens in June (as Grand Casino Avoyelles)


The Lottery joins the Powerball game in March
The Isle of Capri and Bally’s (now Amelia Belle) riverboats open
Harrah’s Jazz New Orleans land-based casino opens in May in a temporary facility; it would close in November and declare bankruptcy
Coushatta Casino Resort opens


Voters in 33 parishes choose to ban video poker, effective July 1, 1999
The Grand Palais and Casino Magic (now Boomtown Bossier City) riverboats open


The legislature authorizes slot machines at racetracks, subject to local referendum
The Flamingo Casino closes in September; it had opened in 1994


The new Harrah’s New Orleans land-based casino opens in October


Hollywood Casino Shreveport (now Eldorado Casino) opens in December


In February, Delta Downs is the first racetrack slot casino to open


Harrah’s Louisiana Downs begins slot operations in May
Evangeline Downs begins slot operations at a new facility in December after voters in its original parish outlawed video poker


Sam’s Town riverboat casino opens in May


L’Auberge Du Lac riverboat casino opens in May
Evangeline Downs opens for racing at its new location in Opelousas
Hurricane Katrina hits in August, disrupting operations for months at the casinos, video poker establishments, racetracks and the Lottery


31 parishes vote to keep video poker


Fair Grounds opens a temporary slot facility in September


Fair Grounds opens its permanent slot casino in November


Voters approve a new casino in Bossier City, which will carry the Margaritaville name
The Lottery begins sales of Mega Millions in November


L'Auberge Baton Rouge opens in early September


Margaritaville opens in June


Golden Nugget Lake Charles opens in December


Casinos and casino-style gaming

Louisiana has riverboat (dockside) casinos, racetrack casinos and a land-based casino in New Orleans. Up to 15 riverboat casinos are authorized; Golden Nugget was the 15th when it opened in December 2014.

Riverboat casinos:
Amelia Belle – 838 slots, 15 tables
Belle of Baton Rouge – 777 slots, 14 tables
Boomtown Bossier City – 997 slots, 16 tables
Boomtown Casino, Harvey – 1,207 slots, 38 tables
Diamond Jacks, Bossier City – 863 slots, 21 tables
Eldorado Casino Resort, Shreveport – 1,408 slots, 60 tables
Golden Nugget, Lake Charles – 1,551 slots, 85 tables
Isle of Capri, Lake Charles – 1,160 slots, 47 tables
Hollywood Baton Rouge – 923 slots, 12 tables
Horseshoe Bossier City – 1,372 slots, 55 tables
L'Auberge Baton Rouge – 1,440 slots, 56 tables
L’Auberge Du Lac, Lake Charles – 1,550 slots, 76 tables
Margaritaville Resort Casino, Bossier City – 1,216 slots, 51 tables
Sam’s Town, Shreveport – 975 slots, 25 tables
Treasure Chest, Kenner – 1,000 slots, 36 tables

Land-based casino:
Harrah’s New Orleans – 1,560 slots, 125 tables
Racetrack casinos:
Delta Downs – 1,639 slots
Evangeline Downs – 1,360 slots
Fair Grounds – 620 slots
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs – 1,036 slots

Video poker is also legal in Louisiana, and machines are allowed in bars, restaurants, hotels, off-track betting parlors and truckstops. Under the original legislation, racetracks also offered video poker, but all converted to slot machines when they became legal. As of February 2017, there were 13,114 video poker machines in 1,772 locations.

Louisiana Gaming Control Board
4307 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Phone (225) 295-8450
Fax (225) 295-8479                 


Tribal gaming

There are tribal-state gaming compacts with three tribes in Louisiana, and each operates a casino.

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana – Cypress Bayou Casino
Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana – Coushatta Casino Resort
Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana – Paragon Casino & Resort



The Louisiana Lottery began operations on September 6, 1991. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto, Easy 5, Pick 3 and Pick 4. The lottery also offers limited-run raffle games.

Lottery proceeds are earmarked for the Minimum Foundation Program, which funds K-12 public education in  Louisiana. The first $500,000 in annual proceeds are transferred to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals-Office of Behavioral Health to fund problem gambling programs.

Louisiana Lottery Corp.
555 Laurel St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70801-1813
Phone (225) 297-2000


Pari-mutuel facilities

Pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in 1940. Inter-track wagering began in 1987 and off-track wagering in 1988. There are currently four racetracks in the state and 16 off-track wagering locations.
Delta Downs
LA Highway 3063
Vinton, LA 70668

Evangeline Downs
2235 Creswell Lane Extension
Opelousas, LA 70570

Fair Grounds
1751 Gentilly Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70119

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
8000 East Texas Street
Bossier City, LA 71111

Louisiana Racing Commission            
320 N. Carrollton Avenue, Suite 2-B
New Orleans, LA 70119-5100
Phone (504) 483-4000
Fax (504) 483-4898


Charitable gaming

Qualified organizations are authorized to offer charitable raffles, bingo, pulltabs, electronic video bingo, keno and Las Vegas nights.

Louisiana Office of Charitable Gaming
P.O. Box 98502
Baton Rouge, LA 70884-9502
Phone (225) 925-1835
Fax (225) 925-7069


Last updated on March 18, 2017