A football season to test sports betting revenue

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As the football season gathers pace, Louisiana’s sports betting scene will be put to the test for the first time.

The numbers will reveal how much money Louisianans from 55 parishes are willing to bet on their favorite teams.

“We have never had a full football season with sports betting yet. It just started two weeks ago with college and then last weekend with the NFL. Historically, across the country, football season is a big issue with sports betting,” said Games control board President Ronnie Johns.

Sports betting was something of a bet for the legislator, as the legislators didn’t know how much tax revenue it would actually bring in.

Johns said the goal for the first year is to earn $30 million, which he thinks is on track to surpass.

“Through July, we have now raised approximately $16.5 million in revenue for state, local government and early childhood education,” Johns said.

Since launching sports betting at retail outlets last fall and on mobile platforms in February, more than $1.4 billion has been wagered.

Of the tax revenue, 25% goes to early childhood education, 10% goes to local government, and the rest is dispersed through gambling and other addiction programs.

As for the capital’s traditional casinos, the Belle of Baton Rouge will present its plans to the Gaming Control Board this week to move the casino to land.

“The Belle of Baton Rouge is the lowest production license in the state of Louisiana. They don’t do a lot of business there, it’s just not a nice property. But they’ll probably spend $35 to $40 million for their redevelopment there,” Johns said.

The Horseshoe in Lake Charles is also set to reopen in December after being closed for two years due to hurricane damage.

Efforts are also being made to have a company outside the state purchase the property of the former Diamond Jack Casino in Bossier City.

Sallie R. Loera