Could Louisiana Overthrow The Top Sports Betting States?

  • No bordering state of Louisiana offers both retail and online wagering.

NEW ORLEANS - By the end of the year, Louisiana will be among the ever-growing list of states that offer sports betting options to its residents. Unlike some of those states however, Louisiana's loosened regulations, balanced tax rates, and expansive opportunities for sportsbook operators will cause it to stand out among the rest.

When sports betting becomes available, it's a possibility that Louisiana could produce similar revenue results as other top performing states. After years of planning and deliberation, bills SB 142 and SB 247 were signed by Governor John Bel Edwards.

SB 142 handles monetary distribution from funds made by sports betting, while SB 247 details the state's regulations around it.

“SB 247 fulfills the wishes of the citizens in the 55 parishes that approved the referendum last fall to allow sports wagering and SB 142 will help direct funding derived from this activity to early childhood education,” said Page Cortez, the Senate President, in a statement.

How Will Sports Betting Fair In Louisiana?

Louisiana is no stranger to the gambling scene; the city of New Orleans alone is home to five very successful casinos, with 24 more thriving across the state. It's a safe bet that Louisiana residents love to gamble, and there are plenty of local sports to gamble on. Five college football programs operate within Louisiana, along with an NFL and an NBA franchise.

While Louisiana's population of 4.6 million people isn't as large as some other states, it's likely that they won't be the only ones betting in the state. It's already common practice for citizens of neighboring states to cross state lines to buy lottery tickets, and participate in other forms of gambling.

With Louisiana's expected online mobile sports betting options being so unrestricted, it's very likely this practice will continue with residents of Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and possibly even Oklahoma crossing state borders to place their wagers online, as their states do not possess statewide mobile sports betting.

What's So Appealing To Sportsbook Operators About Louisiana?

The tax rate on sports betting varies by state, and while Louisiana's tax rate isn't the lowest, it's by no means the highest either. Between the 15% tax on mobile sports betting revenue, and the 10% tax on land-based revenue, sportsbook operators will be competing heavily to secure one of the available operating licenses.

Louisiana plans to offer 41 sports betting licenses for online providers, and 20 retail licenses for brick-and-mortar establishments. If all of these slots are filled, Louisiana will have more sports betting options than even New Jersey, - a state that generated nearly $400 million in sports betting revenue in 2020.

It's also worth mentioning that New Orleans is one of the most popular tourist locations in the country, which guarantees constant out-of-state traction especially during Mardi Gras.

The Perfect Storm Of Sports Betting Circumstances

Nothing is certain yet as Louisiana has yet to even launch their sports betting operation.

That being said, the state has a lot going for it. Fair tax rates, optimal populous mindset, a pre-established gambling scene, statewide online sports wagering options, dozens of retailers and online sportsbook licenses, and no bordering competition could spell out everything necessary for Louisiana to win big.

Some projections suggest Louisiana could only be pulling in roughly $200 million in revenue every year, which while impressive, may not be enough to outperform the top sports betting revenue-generating states. The results will speak for themselves when Louisiana launches their sports betting options either later this year or early 2022.