Louisiana March Madness Betting Handle Projected To Be $24 Million  

Louisiana March Madness bettors could generate over $24 million in handle from NCAA basketball alone. After sportsbooks pay winnings out, March Madness alone could make Louisiana over $415,000 in tax revenue.

Louisiana March Madness handle projected higher than average season handle

Louisiana sports betting has only been live for four full months, so it has room to grow. However, its early growth resembles Iowa’s sports betting industry after it introduced remote registration. In layman’s terms, Louisiana’s sports betting industry is starting in a place that took Iowa two years to reach. We project that Louisiana’s total March 2022 handle will be $97 million based on these similarities.     

This projection also fits with normal seasonal trends in sports betting. Revenue often dips in February then peaks in March before the slow summer season begins. March is routinely one of the most active months in sports betting. Mature markets, like Iowa, confirm this trend.

Iowa March Madness Handle above average seasonal handle

Bettors can expect to pour a lot of money into Louisiana sportsbooks for March Madness. Instead of a single event, like the Super Bowl, March Madness has games spread over several weeks. So, March Madness is a major moneymaker for sportsbooks and states with legal sports betting.

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Nerd Box: Louisiana March Madness Calculations 

Louisiana’s third month of sports betting handle was 120% larger than its second month. Part of that reason is internet sports betting went live. We assumed that Louisiana’s sports betting handle growth, like similarly populated Iowa, would level out quickly. (Often in new markets, triple-digit growth is quickly followed by more modest growth.) 

We applied monthly growth rates from Iowa’s remote registration months to arrive at Louisiana’s projected March 2022 handle. So, we predicted about a 4% drop in handle in February and about a 12.5% increase in handle in March. This treats Louisiana as a mature market, so these figures could be low. But with Louisiana’s existing gambling culture and infrastructure, being guided by a more mature market, like Iowa, isn’t unreasonable.   

We know from other states, like Colorado and Virginia, that NCAA handle alone comprises about 25% of a state’s sports betting handle. So, we assumed that a quarter of Louisiana’s total handle would come from NCAA betting. That got us from $97 million in total handle to $24 million in NCAA basketball handle.

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Louisiana March Madness Tax Revenue

Then, we took the average hold for Louisiana’s retail sportsbooks and applied it to projected NCAA handle. Louisiana retail sportsbooks’ hold was 13.2%. We used the retail figures because mobile sportsbook handle went negative. 

Losing money is common for sportsbooks launching in new markets. Sportsbooks use generous promotions to buy market share. Since that pattern does not repeat during normal times, we used the retail sportsbook hold rate instead. That got us from $24 million in NCAA handle to $3.2 million in taxable revenue.    

Finally, we applied Louisiana’s mobile and retail tax rates to projected March Madness sportsbook revenue to arrive at a tax revenue figure. Louisiana taxes online wagers at 15% and retail wagers at 10%. So, we had to account for the ratio of online sports betting to retail sports betting. 

Based on Iowa’s market, we estimated a 60/40 ratio of mobile sports betting to retail sports betting. This is similar to the ratio of mobile to retail sports betting that Iowa experienced in its early months of legal sports betting. This ratio is a good estimate of where mobile sports betting adoption could in Louisiana be by the end of March.   

By assuming this split and taxing the different estimates of Louisiana sportsbooks’ NCAA revenue, we got from $3.2 million in taxable revenue to $415,000 in projected state tax revenue from only NCAA basketball. 

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a writer tucked into the foothills in Colorado Springs. He works as a content writer, professional resume writer, and SEO professional articles in multiple industries that can be viewed from his portfolio.