Louisiana’s sports betting market has been legal and regulated for the past three months. However, Louisiana bettors were forced to visit a land-based property to place their best. That was until last week when mobile sports betting in the Bayou State was officially launched. While it’s too soon to quote revenue figures, the initial results look promising.
Louisiana Sets the Sports Betting Standard in the Southeast
GeoComply points out that there were 2.68 million geolocation transactions in the first 48 hours following the launch of mobile sports betting in Louisiana. This means that Louisiana bettors are happy to place their bets from their homes or wherever else they may be in the 55 parishes that approved the launch.
The smooth rollout was approved initially by residents, but then planned and executed by state legislators and industry leaders. Ronnie John, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB), said that the smooth results were no accident.
He asserted, “This is not something that the legislature just slipped under the radar and said go do this. It was done by a vote of the people, and we’re going to do it the right way, we’re going to do it compliant, we’re going to do it safely.”
More Tax Revenue for Louisiana
Sportsbooks pay 10% tax on retail revenue and 15% on mobile revenue. It’s no secret, as plenty of studies have shown, that sports betting was taking place long before it was legalized. This means all the potential tax revenue was going offshore.
This resulted in a loss of tax revenue from the multimillion-dollar deal. Louisiana legislators solved this problem with their own sports betting legislation. Although a little more complex, tax revenue from sports betting is split into two groups. 59% of the money goes to the state general fund and 41% to several funds, including Behavioral Health & Wellness, Disability Affairs, Sports Wagering Purse Supplemental Fund and others.
$30 Million in New Annual Tax Revenue Likely
The work involved in launching and operating Louisiana’s mobile and retail sports betting markets will pay off. Expert projections predict a $30-million annual tax stream. This number should only increase exponentially once the market is fully operational.
Chairman John encourages fiscal patience in the face of the launch of the mobile market. He told the media that it might take some time for anyone to be able to assess the impact on their tax bills.
“I think after a month or two of online betting, we’ll have a clearer picture and probably be able to make good assessments of what our actual revenue will be on an annual basis for our state budget.”Ronnie John, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board
With the NFL Super Bowl quickly approaching, Louisiana sportsbooks, and others across the US, will see a flurry of activity. Those states that have tripped over themselves, unable to develop their regulations in time, will miss another year of multimillion-dollar revenue.