The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) reported that sports wagering operators claimed more than $43.1 million in gross revenue for September, an all-time high in the state.

The revenue haul topped the previous standard of $37.2 million established last December and was 33.7% higher compared to the previous September. Handle for the month was $280.1 million, the second-highest ever behind the $282.3 million worth of accepted wagers in January.

Louisiana’s 18 retail sportsbooks and nine mobile operators had a collective 15.4% hold on gross revenue — more than double the industry standard — that ranks third-highest in 21 months of mobile wagering. Louisiana is one of three states, along with Maryland and Ohio, where sportsbooks have had a statewide hold of 15% with a minimum $200 million handle, but it has happened five times in the Pelican State compared to the one-offs elsewhere.

The state levied taxes on $41.8 million in adjusted gross revenue and received $5.3 million, an all-time high that also marked the first time the monthly total was above $5 million. Louisiana has generated $26.7 million in taxes through the first three quarters of 2023, nearly $6.7 million more than the first nine months of 2022.

Parlay revenue drives record haul

The LGCB does not provide figures by operator or handle by sport category, but parlays have proven to be a consistent driver in the Louisiana market. That was no different in September, as sportsbooks claimed $23.1 million — nearly $205,000 more than the previous all-time high of $22.9 million last November.

To put that figure in some perspective, consider that Illinois reported $24.6 million in parlay revenue for August, while its $676.1 million handle was nearly 2.5 times higher than Louisiana’s. The $134.9 million in operator winnings from parlays this year in the Pelican State represents 56.8% of the total gross revenue.

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Louisiana sportsbooks also had an all-time revenue high for baseball, collecting $6.8 million. That was only the third time it cleared $5 million, and reduced the all-time overall loss for the house — largely created by Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale’s huge payouts last November after the Houston Astros won the World Series — to minus-$26.7 million.

Football had a top-three revenue total with $9.1 million, and the catch-all “other” category — which for Louisiana includes hockey, golf, tennis, boxing, MMA, and auto racing — provided $2.8 million to the house.

Promotional spend by operators was $1.3 million, a four-fold increase from September 2022. Operators are limited to $5 million annually in promotional spend, and they have lavished $21.2 million in credits to bettors through the first nine months of the year.

Handle and revenue up from 2022

Entering the final three months of the year, the $1.86 billion worth of accepted bets through September is up 21.9% compared to the first nine months of 2022. The hold of 12.8% is more than 1.5 percentage points higher in the same span, which has contributed to gross revenue surging 38.9% higher to $237.6 million.

Overall promotional spend is down 13% compared to 2022, and it is also more balanced than last year, when mobile operators entered Louisiana with a bang in January during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl in February. A total of $21.7 million of the $25.4 million in credits offered by the books came in the first two months of 2022. This year, that total was $11.8 million, as operators have surpassed $1 million in monthly spending in every month except July.

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