The “Mattress Tax” in Louisiana was king-sized in November.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale’s winning futures wagers on the Houston Astros to win the World Series at multiple mobile sportsbooks in the Pelican State paid out handsomely in November. They also left Louisiana with an ugly red number when it came to gross revenue for sports wagering.
The overall figure of minus-$25.3 million in gross revenue reported by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board is the largest monthly loss reported by any state in the post-PASPA era, which began in May 2018. The previous highest monthly loss in gross revenue — $972,382 — reported by a state was by Delaware last December.
Louisiana’s monthly deficit marks just the 13th time in the post-PASPA era that there has been an overall revenue loss by the state, though there are more occasions of monthly losses in adjusted revenue totals due to promotional credits that come with mobile wagering launches. To this end, Louisiana’s minus-$25.6 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for November will not be the worst nationwide, as Maryland reported an AGR of minus-$33.6 million thanks to a staggering outlay of more than $60 million in promotional credits by operators as part of its mobile launch.
Aside from McIngvale’s monstrous payouts — the grand total came to nearly $58.7 million — operators had a good enough month that the state still received $4 million in tax receipts for November. The $268.6 million handle for November was an all-time high in 13 months of operation, toppling the $255.5 million from October, and pushed the all-time number above $2 billion.
Even parlay revenue can’t overcome huge loss
Running November Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state:
1 New York $1.56B
2 Indiana $452.32M
3 Tennessee $439.46M
4 LOUISIANA $268.64M <-NEW
5 Iowa $247.48M
6 Maryland $219.07M
7 Kansas $186.35M
8 West Virginia $69.85M
9 Oregon $55.5M
10 Delaware $10.17M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) December 16, 2022
Caesars Sportsbook was on the hook for the bulk of McIngvale’s winnings, as his three $1 million wagers returned $30 million in winnings at the sportsbook. WynnBET paid out $12 million on a $1 million wager, while Barstool Sportsbook yielded $10.7 million to McIngvale for his $2 million bet on the Astros to win it all.
McIngvale unquestionably accounted for an overwhelming amount of the monthly loss in baseball, but it appears other Texas bettors — who cannot wager in the Lone Star State — may have followed his lead in crossing the state line to wager on the Astros. The November retail loss in the sport was more than $1.4 million, lifting the overall loss to a staggering $60.7 million. Louisiana sportsbooks had generated less than $19 million in revenue from baseball wagering in the first 12 months of operation.
The crater left by McIngvale was so large that not even a second straight record month of parlay revenue could fill it. Pelican State sportsbooks collected $22.9 million in revenue from those wagers, the second straight month they cleared $20 million. Parlay revenue has totaled close to $130 million for the year, and that was with a loss in January of nearly $1 million.
Basketball revenue was a strong second at $6.8 million, the second-highest total all-time behind the $12.8 million from March. Football revenue grabbed the third spot at $3.5 million, while the World Cup helped sportsbooks reach seven figures in revenue from soccer bets for the first time in state history at just over $1 million.
The baseball payouts at brick-and-mortar books put a drag on retail winnings, which totaled $2 million on $34.9 million wagered. The 5.7% hold on in-person bets was the third-lowest in Pelican State annals behind June (0.8%) and February (2.4%).
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board does not disclose handle and revenue information by operator, nor handle by category.