The Louisiana Gaming Control Board reported a record $37.2 million in sports wagering operator gross revenue for December as the house shook off Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale’s big November payday and restored the edge over bettors.
In November, the Houston-based furniture magnate claimed $58.7 million in Louisiana of his record $75 million in winning Houston Astros World Series futures bets placed nationally. Caesars Sports, Barstool Sportsbook, and WynnBET all made payouts that contributed to the worst single-month revenue total for a state in post-PASPA history, at minus $25.3 million.
That was quickly forgotten last month by operators, who rode football and parlay wins to more than cancel out November’s loss. The December revenue marked the fourth time Louisiana sportsbooks topped $30 million in a month, and it eclipsed the $32.3 million standard set in September.
The adjusted revenue the state was eligible to levy taxes on was also a record, finishing less than $40,000 shy of $37 million. Promotional spend was light to close the year at less than $270,000, with more than $21.7 million of the $25.4 million outlay for 2022 coming in the first two months of the year when mobile wagering launched.
December handle finished at close to $254.3 million, down 5.3% from November’s record $268.6 million. Sportsbooks statewide accepted more than $2.3 billion in wagers for the first full year of sports wagering in Louisiana. Mobile handle amounted to slightly more than $1.96 billion, accounting for 85.1% of all wagers placed.
State coffers received close to $4.4 million in tax receipts in December, lifting the total for 2022 to nearly $33.9 million. Nearly 40% of that total, $12.9 million, came in the final three months of the year.
Football revenue hits eight figures
Runnning Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state for December:
1 New York $1.63B
2 New Jersey $1.06B
3 Pennsylvania $754.8M
4 Maryland $497.1M
5 Tennessee $440.4M
6 Indiana $431.4M
7 LOUISIANA $254.3M <-NEW
8 Iowa $229.9M
9 Kansas ~$182M
10 West Virginia ~$66M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) January 19, 2023
While the LGCB does not report handle and revenue by operator or list handle and hold by sport category, it does provide revenue figures for select sports. The $10.1 million in football revenue generated in December set a new record for the sport, edging out the $9.8 million in house winnings from February when many Louisiana bettors placed wagers on ex-LSU quarterback and ex-LSU wide receiver JaMarr Chase to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams.
In the four sport-specific categories, football was easily the biggest revenue producer in 2022 overall at close to $36.8 million. That included a net loss of nearly $1.9 million last January when bettors rode Burrow and the Bengals in the AFC playoffs.
Basketball was a distant second at $24.6 million after the house claimed close to $4.8 million in the final month of the year. The sportsbooks also had one disastrous month in hoops, paying out close to $11.9 million more than wagers placed in April, when the Final Four being played in New Orleans coupled with college basketball blueblood Kansas winning the NCAA Tournament proved bountiful to the public.
The house will likely need years — and Mattress Mack to lose any futures bets he may place on the Astros for 2023 in the process — to make up the net loss of close to $41.9 million in baseball wagering for the calendar year. Operators paid out over $120,000 more than accepted bets in December, with the public cashing smaller World Series winning tickets.
The last sport-specific category offered by the LGCB is soccer, and the house came out $3.5 million ahead on bets made on the beautiful game. Retail books finished nearly $190,000 in the red on soccer wagers in December, with the total loss for the month close to $121,000.
Parlay action, though, was where sportsbooks hit bettors the hardest. The house cleared $20 million in revenue for the third straight month, with December’s $21.9 million near November’s record haul of close to $22.9 million. Overall, operators claimed 71% — nearly $151.7 million — of the $213.7 million in gross revenue via parlay wagers.
Wild fluctuations in monthly win rates
With the increased handle that mobile wagering provides, it often serves as a smoothing element when it comes to how operators fare in relation to the hold. Louisiana proved to be an outlier of sorts in 2022, with seven monthly holds finishing above 11% — including four of those 14.5% and higher — two below 3%, and the other three in a more expected range between 7.5% and 9%.
The 18.1% hold on retail wagers in December was the second-highest in state history, behind only the 20.6% in the launch month of November 2021. The state’s 18 retail sportsbooks generated close to $343 million handle in 2022, posting a win rate just under 10%. The mobile hold was close to 14.1% in December, a month-to-month swing of more than 26 percentage points in the house’s direction, as the overall online win rate for online bets in 2022 landed at nearly 9.2%.