Louisiana online sports betting took off in a flash when it finally got the go-ahead in late January. But what — if anything — does that portend for the future fortunes of Louisiana retail versus mobile sports betting?
The Louisiana total sports betting handle for the month of February landed at $238 million — and 90% of that handle came from mobile sports wagering. On the other hand, retail sports betting revenue dropped by -44%, down to $27.4 million, despite it being Super Bowl month.
That mobile revenue resulted in more than $2.2 million being paid to Louisiana in sports betting taxes for the month. And that equals $500,000+ more than retail sports betting taxes brought in for four months combined.
Those Louisiana sports betting tax dollars go to early education and more.
Is online sports betting top dog?
According to TopUScasinos.com, “Mobile sports betting has dominated every market that it has launched in compared to wagering on events at brick-and-mortar casinos…”
Let’s check out some other states to see what’s been happening with retail versus mobile sports betting there …
Looking at Nevada
Even in Las Vegas, loopy land of brick–and–mortar casinos with big-name headliners, mobile sports betting apps beat retail sports betting in October 2020. 57.2% of wagers that month came via mobile apps, with William Hill Sportsbook topping the market there. (Caesars purchased William Hill in 2021.)
You may very well be thinking, “Hey, October 2020 was during the height of Covid!” That is indeed true, but many of the Las Vegas land casinos closed for only three months, from March until June.
Since this past October, Nevada had been on a billion–dollar sports betting streak that dipped only in February — but still was the biggest February ever for the state.
The total sports betting handle was $764,924,242 with mobile accounting for $512.4 million, about 67%. That’s the first time since October that it landed lower than 70% of the overall handle.
Nonetheless, David Grolman, Caesars’ senior vice president of retail seemed optimistic a few days ago about brick-and-mortar Vegas’s prospects.
Speaking with Sportspromedia.com, Grolman said, “It’s hard to find anything more exciting in the world than sitting in a sportsbook during March Madness.”
Arkansas expecting big money
Arkansas came late to the legal casino gambling party, only allowing it to begin in 2019. The state has offered retail and tribal sports betting since then. Arkansas mobile sports betting missed this year’s Super Bowl but launched just in time for March Madness.
In 2021, Arkansas sports bettors wagered $68 million on sports in casino settings.
But this year, with mobile aboard, Scott Harding of the Arkansas Department of Finance expects the 2022 figure “to blow that number out of the water,” according to fox16.com.
The news from Jersey
By June of 2020, New Jersey, Indiana, and Pennsylvania were reaping the rewards of a great decision. Reports state that they generated between 85% to 90% of their monthly revenue via mobile sports betting apps.
Again, yes, there was the pandemic and its ensuing lockdown going on then. However, it looks like New Jersey has kept doing well.
According to yogonet.com, in January 2022, the Garden State enjoyed a $1.2 billion handle in mobile sports wagering, which was 89.7% of the total. That happened even with its Empire State neighbor launching mobile sports betting that same month.
On the other hand, New Jersey saw just $139.2 million in retail sportsbook bets back in January. This comes despite breaking its own overall sports betting handle record that month.
New York’s state of mind
New York is a state where mobile sports betting kicked off with a bang in early January.
According to the general manager at one retail casino in the state, mobile has not had “much of a negative impact.” That general manager, Rick Richards of Rivers Casino, also told our sister site PlayNY, “We’re still seeing excellent foot traffic.”
Certainly, retail casinos do offer some experiences and amenities that mobile apps can’t.
Rivers Richards stressed how visiting the retail casino’s sportsbook lounge provides “all the excitement of a live sporting event with all the comforts and conveniences of a casino setting.” He added that guests can get “instant guidance and support from one of our team members.”
Jeff Gural, the owner of Tioga Downs Casino in New Jersey, pointed out a big plus that may help retail hold onto its appeal: Unlike online operators, winning bettors can get cash immediately at retail locations.