Don’t let the mobile sportsbooks’ negative number fool you; Louisiana’s January 2022 gaming revenue actually came out ahead for the first month of the new year.
While the six newly opened mobile sportsbooks in Louisiana reported losses of $9 million total despite taking bets reaching $40.5 million, there’s a good reason for that — and in overall casino gaming, the state saw an increase of 7.8%.
Statewide, casino revenue totaled $188.2 million, up from $174.6 million in January 2021.
Mobile sportsbooks: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negatives
The revenue losses of mobile sportsbooks — which finally opened just in time for the Super Bowl — can be attributed to the $5 million in promo credits granted to each license per calendar year in accordance with last year’s legislation. (Each license allows for a retail operation and two online skins.)
As Jeff Traylor, Audit Director at the Louisiana State Police, clarified at the Louisiana Gaming Control Board’s Feb. 17 meeting, about 1/3 to 1/2 of that $30 million total allotted was used in the first four days of mobile sports betting, while at least one unspecified operator used up all of their $5 million deduction.
In total, promotional bets accounted for an $11.7 million deduction from net proceeds, but $25 million in actual cash wagers still came in via mobile sportsbooks.
Sports bettors wagered over $49 million with the 13 retail sportsbooks in the state, which netted $5.3 million.
Nice work, New Orleans
Breaking down Louisiana’s January 2022 gaming revenue:
NOLA’s revenue went up a healthy 19.1%, with $43.9 million coming in last month versus $36.8 million in January 2021.
Harrah’s edged out Amelia Belle for the parish lead with a 19.4% year-over-year increase. In fact, all the casinos in New Orleans saw increases.
Baton Rouge: L’Auberge does a capital job
Overall, the capital’s revenue landed at $22.2 million for the month, an increase of 19.3% over January 2021.
L’Auberge Baton Rouge alone fueled that jump, going up 31.9% year-over-year, landing ahead of every other gaming facility in the state. Meanwhile, Hollywood Casino, recently sold to Casino Queen Holding Company, dropped at –6.1% year-over-year.
CQ Holding is also purchasing Belle of Baton Rouge, which decreased at -19.3% year-over-year.
Lake Charles lagged at only a 3.6% climb year-over-year. Only L’Auberge saw an increase (+16.8%), with Golden Nugget and Delta Downs dropping –0.4% and –12.9%, respectively.
Shreveport/Bossier logged just a 2.5% increase year over year. Bally’s topped the remaining area casinos by climbing 14.4%. And Evangeline Downs in Opelousas dropped –8.7%.
Riverboat revenues dropped from December but climbed 10% year-over-year. Similarly, video gaming revenue decreased from the month before but increased (by 6.9%) from the same time last year.
In Louisiana, taxes on sports betting break down this way:
- Mobile sportsbooks pay 15%
- Retail sportsbooks pay 10%
Of those taxes, 25% goes to early childhood education, and 10% goes to local government. For January, retail sportsbooks will pay about $533,000 to the state.
Total estimated annual tax benefits for the state come in at $30 million.
What about taxes on winnings?
Wagerers will pay a 24% flat tax on winnings, whether they’re via mobile or retail but possibly depending on how much is won, which game it’s won at, and the amount wagered. Either the casino will withhold applicable taxes (which happens less commonly if the bet was made online), or the winner should declare winnings at tax time.