Betting in New Orleans

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With a metro population of just over 1.1 million residents, the port city of New Orleans is situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about 170 kilometres upstream from the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, well known for its Cajun and Creole cuisines, its lively jazz music and its famous French Quarter, which contains many popular hotels, bars, and nightclubs.

Originally known as “La Nouvelle-Orléans,” the port was first established by French settlers in 1718 as a New World trading colony. It was ceded to the Spanish for the last four decades of the 18th century and returned to French rule briefly before Napoleon sold it to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The architecture of the city, especially along Bourbon Street and other old sections, still reflects the French and Spanish influences, giving New Orleans a unique look among American cities.

Gambling has long been a part of the city’s history. It was here that Roulette, Blackjack, Craps and Poker got their start on North American soil. Until the mid-19th century, New Orleans was the de facto gaming centre of the United States, but then a wave of anti-gambling sentiment swept the country and for more than a century, games of chance were illegal. It was only in the 1990s that Louisiana granted permission for riverboat casinos to once again start operations on the Mississippi River.

Today, land-based casinos are legal, too, and representative of the biggest and best is Harrah’s New Orleans Casino on Canal Street. Open 24 hours daily, it features a massive 125,100-square-foot gaming floor with 1,845 gaming machines and 123 table games, including 3-Card Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Let it Ride, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Poker and Roulette. The property also features nine restaurants and a 450-room hotel.

Over on Old Gentilly Road toward Lake Pontchartrain is the Crescent City Casino. Its 5,000-square-foot gaming space offers players 50 gaming machines plus one restaurant and a bar. Meanwhile, the Carnival Club on Elysian Fields Avenue has a restaurant and 50 gaming machines in its 2,500 square foot gaming area. Bothe casinos are open 24 hours, seven days a week.

The city of New Orleans also serves as the home port for two cruise ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet—the Elation and the Conquest. The Elation has a 2,052-passenger capacity and measures 855 feet from stem to stern. Its 24/7 casino floor covers 6,230 square feet, featuring 183 gaming machines and 13 table games, plus electronic Poker tables. On board facilities include a health club, spa and three outdoor pools as well as food and drink service at Gatsby’s Bar, the Jekyll and Hyde Dance Club, Duke’s Piano Bar, Tiffany’s Restaurant and the Musical Café.

Aboard the 953-foot, 2,984-passenger Conquest, the gaming floor covers 9,000 square feet, offering 249 gaming machines and 19 table games. Players can choose from among Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Poker and Roulette. Facilities range from a health club, spa and swimming pool to Guy’s Burger Joint, the RedFrog Rum Bar, EA Sports Bar, the Taste Bar, the Alchemy Bar and the Punchliner Comedy Club.

Back on dry land, New Orleans offers horse racing at the Fair Grounds Race Course on Gentilly Boulevard. The property features two oval tracks, a dirt mile and seven furlongs of turf, for both quarter horses and thoroughbreds. There is a race book and racino on the premises with 606 gaming machines. It is open on Monday through Saturday from 9am till midnight and on Sundays from 10am until midnight. Also located on site are two dining facilities—the Clubhouse Restaurant and the Food Court.

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