The Louisiana legal sports industry hasn’t even been signed into law yet, but analysts are already projecting a robust and healthy wagering scene for the state. Legislation for a new legal sports betting industry in Louisiana has been moving quickly through committees and a real sense of optimism has emerged that the state will start reaping the benefits of such a platform possibly by the end of the year.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com network, which includes PlayLouisiana.com, noted: “Louisiana should be able to outperform its relatively small population. In fact, as a market Louisiana shares many of the same attributes that have made New Jersey and Nevada sports betting meccas. The state has long been home to a thriving casino industry, New Orleans itself can draw tourists from all over the country, and Louisiana is not bordered by another state that offers both retail and online sports betting.”
The Louisiana Market
Louisiana is currently the 24th ranked state in terms of population in the US with 4.6 million residents. Their legal sports betting market is expected to be a mix of locals and a strong tourist population to make the Bayou State one of the truly great legal sports betting destinations in the US.
Louisiana is home to one of the more iconic NFL franchises in the world, the New Orleans Saints, the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and some of the most rabid fan-bases in college sports, including the LSU Tigers. The state is a frequent host of such massive sporting events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA tournament and its share of college Bowl Games.
Eric Ramsey said of the Louisiana market: “… the state has a passionate local fan base that serves every market. The bottom line is that most markets in the United States do not have a collection of Louisiana’s positive attributes.”
Sky-High Numbers the Experts Are Predicting
The experts are predicting big things for the Louisiana legal sports betting market. The state will be able to “use rich natural advantages to one day transform into a sports betting market that will attract more than $2.5 billion in annual wagering and more than $200 million in operator revenue,” according to numbers released by PlayLouisiana.
Legislators and regulators have hinted at a 15% tax rate on mobile bets and a 10% tax on the revenues generated from the state’s retail sports betting platform. They also expect to hit the nation-wide average hold of 8%. With the estimated $200 million in potential revenues, those tax rates would equate to roughly $30 million in tax contributions for the state annually.
The Tourist Connection
The Louisiana sports betting scene is expected to lure bettors from neighboring states to their platform. Out-of-state bettors can significantly impact a state’s bottom line as best demonstrated by the elite New Jersey scene that gains an estimated 25% of its regular industry-best handles from New York citizens.
One of the big states Louisiana will be depending on is Texas that likely won’t have their own platform anytime soon.
“New Orleans is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, with a regular flow of tourists from nearby big cities like Houston, and a legitimate betting state like the retail-only Mississippi. Even at first, you should benefit.” Eric Ramsey said.
Other Positives for the Louisiana Market
Louisiana’s proposed legal sports betting platform has other attributes that have given analysts optimism that the platform will be able to produce elite-level numbers, almost right away.
Firstly, is the overall accessibility of the impending Louisiana scene. Regulators and lawmakers have paved the way for bars, restaurants and truck stops to offer a legal sports betting option. There will be thousands of potential kiosks in the state, giving citizens a ton of available betting options.
Secondly, the Louisiana scene is expected to draw its fair share of elite-level providers which will provide much-needed and beneficial competition for bettors in the state. An industry-friendly tax rate will attract the best providers in the business. The rabid sports fans in the state will keep them there.
“The basic framework will be appealing for sportsbook operators, and that will help the state reach its potential,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayUSA.com. “Even more, Louisiana set up a relatively open and competitive market, which benefits consumers while making the industry a reliable revenue producer for the state for years to come.”
If and When
Louisiana voters signaled their desire to bring on a legal sports betting platform on the November 2020 Election ballot and it didn’t take long to seize on the public momentum. While not all parishes voted to host their own platform, most are getting ready to launch.
The start of the NFL season September 9 is the goal of any sports betting jurisdiction to be live but regulators in The Bayou State are pointing more toward the end of 2021 to see their legal sports betting platform go live.