How Louisiana Outperformed Larger States in Mobile Sports Betting Debut

Published: February 3, 2022, 2:49 pm.

Last updated on: February 3, 2022, 5:21 pm.

It would be very difficult to top the launch enjoyed by New York with mobile sports betting. However, Louisiana has found one way to do this.

Caesar's Super Dome
An exterior shot of the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, La. Data from GeoComply shows that mobile sports betting enjoyed its first strong weekend in Louisiana. (Photo: Caesars Superdome/Facebook)

The first 36 hours of mobile betting saw the number of unique players equal 3.6% of Louisiana’s adult population, according to GeoComply. That compares favorably with the New York weekend of January 8-9, which saw a customer base equal to 3.3 percent of its adult population.

GeoComply is a geolocation technology provider. Mobile sports betting operators use their own solution to ensure that all online betting takes place legally within the country. In Louisiana, this is actually a bit more complicated than it is in most states, for reasons we’ll touch on shortly.

Busy first weekend in bayou

Louisiana has just over a quarter of New York’s population, so don’t expect to be making a billion dollars a month anytime soon. However, data from GeoComply indicates that the state may produce numbers that are comparable to states with larger populations.

From the time operators were allowed to begin — 8 a.m. last Friday — until the end of Sunday night’s games, GeoComply tracked 3.4 million geolocation transactions in the state. While the company says these transactions are not like bets, its Thursday statement indicated that they are a “strong indicator” of what’s happening in the country.

Louisiana ended up in eighth place in terms of transaction volumes over the weekend. This defeated Indiana, Tennessee, Colorado, and Connecticut.

The highest number of transactions took place during the 5pm CT scan on Sunday (see YouTube link below for a time-lapse video). That hour included the end of the AFC Championship – where former LSU star Joe Burrow led the Bengals to an epic win over the Kansas City Chiefs – and the start of the NFC Championship.

Five apps running in Louisiana

The mobile launch came more than two months after the state’s first brick-and-mortar sportsbook opened.

Currently, there are five mobile operators active in Louisiana. They are Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and BetRivers.

Caesars Corporation, which operates four casinos in Louisiana, has taken several steps over the past year to position itself and become the market leader. That includes acquiring the naming rights for the Superdome, landing the Manning family as brand ambassadors, and securing a multi-year partnership with LSU Athletics — although that deal has come under some scrutiny in recent days after some students were targeted in an email promoting the launch of the Caesars app in the state.

Like most countries, sports betting is restricted to people 21 years of age or older.

The state can approve two skins for each of the 20 casinos in the state. Like TwinSpires, WynnBet and Betfred are expected to be launched in the coming months.

Illegal in all parishes

Louisiana legalized sports betting in November 2020, when voters approved a referendum on the general election ballot. However, the measure has not approved online applications or real-life sportsbooks at the state level.

Each of the 64 parishes within the state held their own elections on the issue during the November 3, 2020 election, voters in 55 districts approved the measure, which allowed sports betting to become legal in those communities once the state passed regulations.

Voters in nine parishes have rejected sports betting, meaning that even mobile betting will not be allowed in those jurisdictions. This added an extra wrinkle for GeoComply, which needed to make sure people in those parishes couldn’t bet on their computers or mobile devices.

According to GeoComply, more than two-thirds of the transactions it tracks are in the southeast corner. That area includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the state’s two largest metro areas.

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