Despite an over 4% dip in overall November casino gaming revenue, long-awaited sports betting got off to an impressive high start in Louisiana.
According to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the November handle for non-sports-wager gaming in Louisiana came in at $255.9 million, a decrease of 4.2% from October’s revenue total.
Sports betting for the month brought in $27.6 million in wagers, netting $5.68 million after winning bets were paid. This success is telling, in spite of only a few of the casinos currently offering sportsbooks operating the entire month.
Paragon Casino Resort, a tribal property, opened its BetFred sportsbook on October 6, while Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Casino Bossier City followed suit on Halloween, both offering Caesars Sportsbook.
These casinos were soon joined by Boomtown New Orleans and L’Auberge Baton Rouge, who also took sportsbook bets for most of November. The next four — L’Auberge Lake Charles, Margaritaville, Golden Nugget Lake Charles, and Boomtown Bossier City — posted revenues for almost three November weeks.
What a difference a year makes
According to the board’s monthly report, Louisiana’s casinos on public lands experienced a 22.6% increase over November 2020’s figures to the tune of $186.1 million versus $151.8 million.
Only Harrah’s New Orleans and Sam’s Town posted year-over-year decreases.
- Harrah’s: $12.7 million November 2021, $14.7 million November 2020 (-13.9%)
- Sam’s Town: $3.1 million November 2021, $3.4 million November 2020 (-10.5%)
New Orleans properties saw a combined increase of 26.5%; Baton Rouge properties combined came in year-over-year at +48.8%; Lake Charles properties +16.6%; and Shreveport-Bossier properties totaled 19.1% more. Opelousas’s Evangeline Downs, the most recent addition to the sportsbook lineup, also went up with a 13.5% year-over-year increase.
Golden Nugget came in first in terms of revenue dollars, earning $24.6 million, a year-over-year jump of 9.3%. Boomtown Casino New Orleans won in terms of percentages with a 77% increase with a November 2021 take of $12.5 million versus $7 million a year ago.
Parlay-vous? Bettors say yes!
In Louisiana’s first full month of retail sports betting, parlays and football bets proved to be the biggest draws.
According to the categorization by the Gaming Board, the top rankings for the month are:
- Single Parlays: $3.7 million
- Football: $1.6 million
- Basketball: $369,931
- “Other”: $32,886
- Soccer: $21,203
Parlays accounted for 65% of the month’s total revenue. And possibly, credit should go to the popular New Orleans Saints for football landing at second place.
Gaming Control Board Chair Ronnie Johns said he’s “highly encouraged” by sports betting’s debut performance, adding:
“This is a really good indication of the interest in sportsbooks in the state of Louisiana.”
Indeed, sports betting looks pretty popular in all states where it’s legal. Nationally, the total October sports betting handle set a new record of $7.54 billion.
Louisiana casino revenue means revenue for social programs
A good month for Louisiana gaming also means a good month for the beneficiaries of Louisiana gaming taxes.
In light of a bill passed earlier this year, Louisiana casino revenues will benefit several programs for the state’s citizens. Beneficiaries include the Behavioral Health and Wellness Fund and Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund. And there’s another 10% earmarked for LA’s Sports Wagering Local Allocation Fund.
In-person sports betting gets taxed at a 10% rate. That means taxes paid in November alone came to about $568,571, 25% of which will go to funding for early education.
Online sports betting speculation: something to talk about
As Marvin Gaye cautioned, believe half of what you see… and none of what you hear.
Currently, rumors of imminent (as in next week) online sports betting seem to be swirling around the bet-o-sphere, mostly based on Yahoo Fantasy Sports notifications, according to SaturdayDownSouth.com. However, also according to them, Ronnie Johns denies it, telling that site there’s: “no truth to that at all. We will roll out multiple licenses in late January.”