Friday, May 24, 2024

Football expected to drive Louisiana sports betting revenue toward goal line

by BIZ Magazine

By Piper Hutchison, Louisiana Illuminator

This football season is the first since Louisiana legalized sports betting last year, and the state’s top gambling regulator said he expects NFL and college games to generate enough tax revenue to make up the 40% difference between current levels and predictions.

The accounting of tax revenue from Louisiana’s newly authorized sports betting books came at Wednesdays’ meeting of the Gaming Control Board. Chairman Ronnie Johns said that he estimated the year to date state revenue from sports betting to be at $18.3 million. Legal sports gambling began in November 2021, with legal mobile betting beginning in January 2022. 

According to Johns, a former state senator who supported legislation in 2021 to legalize sports gambling, sports betting was anticipated at the time to bring in around $30 million in tax revenue annually. 

Of the revenue, 25% of the funds go toward early childhood education, 10% goes to local governments and the rest goes to gambling addiction programs and other projects. 

Johns predicted sports betting revenue to increase with the start of the football season. 

“The fact that we are now entering our first full football season, college two weeks ago and the NFL last weekend, no doubt is going to drive some numbers and some revenue for us,” Johns said. “So we’re just anxious to see what football season does for us.” 

In an interview, Johns said he anticipates annual revenues to exceed $30 million once the sports books are more established. He expects wagers to jump if LSU has a successful football season but anticipates revenues to be just fine no matter what happens. 

“We would love to have another national championship season, but realistically I think we’re gonna be fine with what our numbers will be based on just on LSU. But people are betting on virtually every team around the state,” Johns said.

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