Louisiana Bets for May Not Hitting the Same Record Highs as February

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Louisiana online sports betting saw its launch at the end of January this year. And, according to a recent report released last week by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the sports betting handle numbers have taken a dip of late.

In the month of May, $171.1 million in wagers was taken in by Louisiana sportsbooks, according to the report. This is a notable dip from the current record holding month for Louisiana sports bets, which was reached in February 2022. Despite being the shortest month of the year, February 2022 was also the first full month of operation for Louisiana online sports betting.

In February 2022, the record setting bets taking in was $238.4 million. That is a difference of $67.3 million. However, because sports bettors in the state have likely been clamoring to place their online bets, it is common that an initial launch will see a boost in bets placed. This number can then taper off as the excitement and newness wanes.

When it comes to sports betting revenue, Louisiana sportsbooks were able to generate a 15% hold, equalling $25.7 million. Louisiana offers online sportsbook operators the chance to deduct $5 million in promos from their taxable totals. During that time, sportsbook operators deducted $364,295 in promo spending.

In the month of May, the state of Louisiana was able to collect $2.7 million in taxes from Louisiana sports betting. Retail sports betting launched in the state on Halloween, October 31, in 2021. Since that launch, the state has raked in $12.6 million in taxes generated from sports betting.

Ronnie Johns, the chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, indicated that he feels Louisiana sports betting has made a promising start. This is in part because the state was able to collect more taxes in the month of May despite seeing $44 million less in bets than the month prior. That ratio is something the Louisiana Gaming Control Board likes to see.

Louisiana currently has seven online sportsbook operators that are live in the state. These online sportsbook operators are: Barstool Sportsbook, BetRivers Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and WynnBet Sportsbook. In the month of May, these seven online sportsbooks saw a total of $142.9 million in bets. This is a hold of 15.9%, which equates to a total sports betting revenue of $22.6 million.

Unfortunately, at this time the Louisiana Gaming Control Board does not release reports with a revenue, handle, bets, and tax breakdown for each operator. 

Last month, on May 26 of this year, Fair Grounds New Orleans opened. With this opening, this brings the total of retail sportsbooks that are in operation in the state to sixteen. In the month of May, retail sportsbooks took in $28.5 million in bets, which equaled a 9.4% hold, winning $2.7 million.

When it comes to the sports Louisiana bettors are placing their wagers on, baseball appears to be the number one sport at this time. This stands to reason as spring tends to be seen as baseball seasons. In May, baseball bets accounted for $5.9 million of total revenue in Louisiana sports betting.

Basketball was the second-most bet on sport in the state of Louisiana during the month of May, only slightly trailing behind baseball betting. Basketball betting saw $5.1 million in bets during the same month. $12.4 million on parlays was won by sportsbooks.

A sports betting option from the Louisiana Lottery is still on the way. Back in February, the state lottery finished a request for information process. Now, the Louisiana Lottery is still working on its own option. This includes negotiations with sports betting solution providers to determine who will get the contract.

When these negotiations are finished and the contract is awarded and finalized, the partner that the Louisiana Lottery has chosen will be announced. This announcement should be accompanied by a release of the timeline for the launch of the lottery option.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.