Four days of mobile sports betting in La. nearly matches full month for retail

By Victor Skinner | The Center Square

The first available report on mobile sports betting in Louisiana shows the online platform took in nearly $40.5 million in bets in the first four days, compared with nearly $50 million for a full month of retail betting.

State officials authorized six online sports betting platforms last month – Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook – and they went live Jan. 28.

During the remaining four days of the month, the platforms reported a total of $40,459,715 in wagers written, but posted nearly $9 million in losses, after accounting for $11.7 million in nontaxed promotional spending.

Louisiana’s sports betting laws allow sportsbooks to deduct up to $5 million in promotional spending per year, and at least one sportsbook used up the entire allocation, Wade Duty, executive director of the Louisiana Casino Association, told the Louisiana Gaming Control Board last week.

“Some of them have already depleted that,” he said, “and you will see those numbers flip into a tax paying category.

“Because of the timing of this coming online with the Super Bowl … that was the aggressiveness for those promotional spends. So that will taper,” he said.

Before adjusting for the promotional spending, mobile sportsbooks generated about $2.7 million in revenue, a 6.7 percent hold, compared with retail sportsbooks that generated $5.3 million in revenue at a 10.8 percent hold, according to the website Legal Sports Report.

Louisiana retail sportsbooks wagers for January totaled more than $49 million, resulting in about $5.3 million in net proceeds and $533,289 in taxes paid. Totals for the first three months of legalized retail sports betting now stand at more than $116 million in wagers, $15.3 million in net proceeds and $1.5 million in taxes paid.

Parlay leads by net proceeds at $9.6 million through the first three months, followed by $4.7 million for football and $908,693 for basketball.

Total wagers for retail and mobile betting was about $89.8 million for January.

Officials are optimistic figures could increase for February with betting on the Super Bowl, the largest sports betting event of the year, as well as a seventh mobile sportsbook, WynnBet, which went online Feb. 10, according to Legal Sports Report.

The state also added two retail sportsbooks in January – Amelia Belle Riverboat Casino in Amelia and Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Shreveport – bringing the total number of locations to 13. The $49 million handle for Louisiana retail sportsbooks in January represented a 24% increase over December, when the handle was $39.5 million. That figure was $27.6 million in November, the first month of legal sports betting in the state.

Sports betting is expected to continue to expand in Louisiana, where 20 sports betting licenses are available for the state’s 20 casinos and race tracks. Each of the licenses allows for up to two online platforms.

The Louisiana Lottery also is developing an online sportsbook and kiosks at lottery retailers.

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