Louisiana Bounces Back With $350 Million in March Sports Betting Handle

After a quiet February, Louisiana sports betting found increased traction in March as the state collected $350 million in handle. That marked a significant increase from February’s total of $274.7 million in wagers. March’s handle is the third highest in the Pelican State’s betting history, following last December’s $377 million and last November’s $356.5 million.

Of the total handle, the majority ($319.4 million) was bet online while the remaining $30.6 million was spent at retail books. In terms of revenue, Louisiana’s operators managed a combined $33.8 million. Online sportsbooks brought in $31.7 million in gaming revenue while retail books contributed $2.1 million in revenue.

Louisiana also collected $4.9 million in tax receipts. Of that, $4.7 million was brought in from the online sector and a little over $150,000 from the retail sportsbooks. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) does not disclose handle or revenue figures for individual operators: either for online or retail sportsbooks.

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Louisiana Witnesses Betting Growth

February was a particularly slow month for the Pelican State as handle slipped below $300 million for the first time in five months. Gross gaming revenue in February also dropped to $31.2 million. After accounting for promotional bonuses and credits, which totaled over $6 million, taxable gaming revenue was $25 million. These metrics were surpassed by healthy margins in March’s figures.

Louisiana also realized significant year-on-year growth. In March last year, Louisiana managed $249.3 million in sports betting handle, which was surpassed by more than $100 million last month. The state’s operators, however, had a hold rate of 13% last March, which brought in $32.3 million in gross revenue and tax collections of $3.6 million.

Louisiana’s sports betting growth has been visible in the last few months, which has seen cyclical flows through this fiscal year. In total, the state has collected more than $2.5 billion in the last nine months since the start of this fiscal year, with online betting contributing more than $2.3 billion. In this period so far, the state has collected over $40 million in sports wagering tax ($37.6 million from online operators and $2.5 million from retail books).

In the calendar year of 2023, Louisiana managed $2.91 billion in handle. With an exceptional hold rate of 12.6%, the state’s operators picked up revenue of $367 million, which brought in close to $36 million in tax revenue.

In 2022, Louisiana picked up $2.3 billion with revenue of $189 million at a win rate of 8.2% and tax collections of $33.9 million. In the two months in 2021 when sports betting was launched in the state, wagers were already $67.1 million.

Even in the first quarter of 2024, handle has only risen. So far, wagers have totaled close to $1 billion in just three months. Extrapolating some of the state’s patterns through the rest of the year along with historical data, there could be a record-breaking year for the state with betting handle expected to comfortably cross $3 billion this year.

Louisiana Bans College Player Props

Last month, the LGCB announced that the state will be banning proposition bets on an individual athlete’s performance participating in a college sporting event. 

Louisiana will still allow bets based on full-team statistical results for collegiate games. The NCAA has requested several states to reconsider permitting individual prop bets on college events to prevent harassment of student-athletes by sports bettors.

“Our staff began to work on this weeks ago, well ahead of the NCAA’s call for action on college proposition bets. It is the intention of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to protect the integrity of sports betting as well as the safety and integrity of college athletes,” LGCB chairman Ronnie Johns said in a statement. “We feel that this order accomplishes that goal.”

It’s a bit early to analyze empirical data to suggest whether this ban will impact sports betting handle for operators, but the prop betting market for individual players participating in college sports is not a sizable market. That should mean that Louisiana’s operators won’t feel a heavy impact of this ban, at least in terms of top-line revenue.

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About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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