Louisiana sports betting operators reported a 15% win rate in May, setting a national record for any state since PASPA was repealed in 2018. The state also became the 17th in the nation to surpass $1 billion in sports betting handle since launching its legal sports betting market in October 2021.
Win rate represents the margin of winning by the house for all sports wagers placed. Typically, sportsbooks are happy if that figure approaches 10%. Previously, the national record was 13%, set by New Jersey in September 2018. A high win rate for the sportsbooks means the betting operators had great success and bettors took it on the chin.
Comparing the Statistics
Nationally, 2022 has been a good year for sports bettors. Numbers show a nationwide win rate of 6.3% from January to April on almost $34 billion wagered on sports. But May proved better for the books, as Louisiana joins five other states to record a win rate above 10% for the month.
Louisiana sportsbooks took in nearly $23 million in revenue from the $142.6 million sports betting handle in May, which was a low month compared to the popularity of NCAA Tournament basketball in March and April. The total handle has fallen the last three months in Louisiana, but sportsbooks continue to generate revenue for themselves and tax dollars for the state and the parishes that have legalized the activity.
In 2021, gaming revenue topped $2.3 billion in Louisiana, even though the state didn’t launch legal sports betting until the fourth quarter.
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Parlay Betting Accounts for More Than Half of Revenue
State officials in Louisiana do not reveal the handle for individual sportsbooks or by sport, but it does report types of betting activity and limited revenue numbers. In May, nearly half of all wagers placed were parlays, and according to the state numbers, $12.4 million of the revenue accrued in May came from parlays.
With a parlay bet, a bettor places multiple wagers and ties them together into one bet. Should any of the bets in the parlay lose, then the entire parlay collapses and the bettor loses. But, if all the parlay wagers win, the bettor wins. Because of the difficulty in succeeding at every “leg” of that type of wager, a bettor receives a higher payout with a parlay bet.
The popularity of parlay wagering in Louisiana does a lot to fuel the industry. In May the total sportsbook revenue that was taxable ($25.3 million) delivered $2.7 million to the state treasury. Since launching sports betting in the fourth quarter of 2021, Louisiana has collected more than $11 million in taxes.