Louisiana is best known for the Cajun heritage that courses through its veins, but horse racing also is part of the Gulf state’s rich and colorful history.
In addition to betting on horse racing, the state also allows gambling on so-called riverboat casinos and land-based casinos in some jurisdictions, video poker machines at licensed liquor sales outlets and truck stops, a state-run lottery, and, since early 2022, sports betting.
As a result, all the big four horse racing betting sites – TwinSpires.com, TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, and NYRABets.com – currently provide service for Louisiana residents, along with some smaller online operators and betting apps like BetMGM, AmWager.com, and 123Bet.com.
You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Louisiana.
Louisiana Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Louisiana||Other Promos|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|TVG||Get up to $200 back||Get a $25 Bonus for every friend you refer|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|123bet||$1230 new member bonus||Refer-a-Friend bonus: get $50|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|AmWager||$300 deposit match||Daily cash rewards|
|BetMGM||100% match up to $200||Insurance promos|
|FanDuel Racing||Get a 100% bonus up to $50||10% bonus on win bets|
|DRF||Get a $200 bonus on the first deposit||Earn up to $50 every week|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Louisiana?
Horse racing betting features for Louisiana
- Nyra Bets Louisiana Features:
- Free live video streaming (HD live and replay) on Thoroughbred, Harness and Quarter horse racing and race replays nationwide
- Free handicapping tips
- Swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers
- Weekly live money handicapping contests with cash prizes
- TVG Louisiana Features:
- TVG Expert Picks for everyday
- Free Past Performances Program
- Live streams from tracks around the US and beyond
- Money Back Special on select races
- Twinspires Louisiana Features:
- First Race Freeplay: get $100 in Free Bets
- 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday
- Exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
- Live races and highlights of previous races, both on the website and the app
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Louisiana Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program (receive two XB Rewards Points for every dollar you wager)
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Deposit by mail
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- AmWager Louisiana Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid
- BetMGM Ohio Features:
- Horse racing’s guide
- The BetMGM Rewards loyalty program
- FanDuel Louisiana Features:
- Cash in with Win Bet insurance
- Live streaming (+200 tracks around the world)
- Best bets of the day
- DRF Louisiana Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1st/bet Louisiana Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products: Toteboarding, Free Daily Race Analysis and “Race of the Day” Past Performance
- 123bet Louisiana Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase.
Horse bet types available online
In Louisiana, you can place different types of horse wagers. The most popular online bets are
- Win (the horse you bet on must come first)
- Place (the horse must finish first or second)
- Show (the horse must come either first, second, or third)
- Win Place (places a win and a place bet in one bet)
- Win Show (places a win and a show bet in one bet)
- Win Place Show (aka “across the board”; combines Win, Place and Show into one bet)
- Exacta (you bet on horses to come first and second in that order)
- Quinella (the same as exacta, but horses can finish in any order for you to win the bet)
- Trifecta (three horses should finish first, second and third in that order)
- Superfecta (the same as trifecta but here you bet on four horses)
- Super High 5 (you have to choose the winner of five races in a row)
- Grand Slam (pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, capped by the winner of the fourth race in the sequence)
- Parlays (combine multiple selections on the same ticket, even if the races aren’t in sequential order).
- Credit and Debit Cards
- ACH Bank Transfer / eCheck
- Wire Transfer
- Green Dot
- Check or Money Order
- By mail: Xpressbet
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
Louisiana Horse Betting Overview
The first horse track in the state was a private venue, built in 1820 by M. Francois Livaudais on his plantation in what is now New Orleans’ Garden District, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.
By the early 1850s, New Orleans alone had three racetracks: The Union, which opened on the site of the current Fair Grounds racetrack in the Gentilly neighborhood in 1852; the Metrarie racetrack in 1853 and the Eclipse Track, built-in 1837 on what is now the city’s Audubon Park.
The Pelican State also has a rich tradition of “bush track” racing at small, unsanctioned racetracks, rough racing that has produced many top jockeys over the decades, including Calvin Borel, Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux, and Craig Perret, all Kentucky Derby winners. Sadly, nearly all of these colorful venues are gone today.
The state is currently home to four racetracks: Delta Downs in Vinton; Evangeline Downs in Opelousas; Fair Grounds in New Orleans; and Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.
The state also has a network of off-track betting (OTB) outlets and internet wagering on horse racing. Virtually all the providers of online advance-deposit wagering (ADW) serve customers in Louisiana, offering a wide variety of sign-up bonuses and other promotions like cash-back bets and other inducements to attract customers.
Fun fact about horse racing in Louisiana
The Fair Grounds, which opened its grand doors in 1852, is arguably the oldest racetrack in the U.S. still operating. The original track built on the site was known as Union Race Track. The track suspended operations several times in its early years, however, so some racing historians place its opening date after that of the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, which opened in 1863.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Louisiana
- The Louisiana Derby
- The Firecracker Derby
- New Orleans Classic Stakes
- Fair Grounds Oaks
- Louisiana Legends Night
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Louisiana
- Delta Downs in Vinton
- Evangeline Downs in Opelousas
- Fair Grounds in New Orleans
- Louisiana Downs in Bossier City
- Quarter Pole Downs (closed in 2007).
Delta Downs generally runs a thoroughbred meeting from mid-October to early March and a quarter horse season from late April to mid-July.
Evangeline Downs typically conducts a thoroughbred meet from early April to late August and a quarter horse meets from early October to late December.
Another one — Evangeline Downs (Old) in Carencro – was closed as a track in 2005. Then there was a training center. That closed in 2018.
Louisiana Downs typically runs thoroughbred racing from May through September and quarter horse racing from January through March.
The Fair Grounds, the granddaddy of the state’s tracks, recently extended its winter thoroughbred meeting into late November from its traditional post-Christmas opening date and now runs from late November to late March. Its signature race is the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) for 3-year-olds, a key stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby, which is typically run on the track’s closing weekend.
Yes, you can. 18 years is the minimum gambling age in Louisiana for playing online and at any of the state’s racetracks.
Yes, it is legal to bet on horse racing online and via mobile apps in Louisiana.
TwinSpires.com, TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, NYRABets.com, BetMGM, and many other wagering sites operate in the state.
Yep, the BetMGM Horse Racing App is allowed in Louisiana. It’s also available in Ohio and Florida.
Yes, OTB is legal in Louisiana. Residents of the state can enjoy live satellite horse racing and on-site wagering.