Louisiana is on the verge of flipping the switch for mobile sports betting. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) has been finalizing the rules and regulations for the segment, but has been non-committal on a specific launch date. According to Sports Handle, however, the launch could come before the end of this week.
Mobile Sports Betting Launch in Louisiana Imminent
Sports Handle reports that it has received confirmation from multiple industry sources who are hearing that the LGCB will issue temporary mobile gambling licenses this Friday. This follows a press release from WynnBET on Tuesday announcing that pre-registration and deposits are now available in the state.
Earlier this month, the LGCB refused to indicate a possible launch date. When Sports Handle tried to get an update this week, the gaming regulator remained silent.
A Friday launch would enable bettors to wager before Sunday’s NFL conference championship games. The Cincinnati Bengals face the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship and the San Francisco 49ers and LA Rams will battle for the NFC title.
The launch would also pave the way for mobile wagers on the Super Bowl on February 13. The NFL championship game is the most-watched and the most-bet sporting event in the US.
Louisiana Set to See Huge Tax Revenue Gains
Having mobile sports betting access to the rest of the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl will increase Louisiana’s sports betting tax revenue significantly. This means that a myriad of programs in the state will benefit, as well.
Louisiana law requires that 25% of mobile betting revenue is to be used to fund early learning programs for children. These funds were created by state senator Rick Ward and are intended to help young children get into the education system. The same programs receive tax revenue from fantasy sports betting.
The rest of the revenue goes to local government programs. This money is distributed proportionally based on how much each parish earns from sports betting revenue. 55 of the state’s 64 parishes will see the revenue, as these are the only ones to have approved mobile sports betting referendums.
Parts of the revenue go to the Louisiana State Racing Commission, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and social programs, as well as the general state Treasury. The LGCB requires that $500,000 be allotted to the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling.
According to The Monroe News-Star, Louisiana’s sports betting industry is expected to generate $30 million annually in tax revenue. The state reported last November that eight Louisiana retail sportsbooks generated more than $2.7 million in tax revenue, pulling in $27.6 million in handle. Land-based sportsbooks are expected to generate more than $4 million in annual operator revenue.
The LGCB has the authority to issue up to 41 online betting licenses to the state. All of the regular names – DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and others – are expected to join. That still leaves many opportunities for other operators to get in on the action.