Louisiana continues record-setting handle streak in November

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The Louisiana sports betting market continues to go from strength-to-strength, setting a monthly handle record for November, boosted by the ESPN BET launch. 

Per the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, handle reached $356.5 million last month, marking strong growth on both an annual and monthly basis and setting a new record in the process. 

This was broken down into $322.9 million wagered on online and mobile platforms, while $33.5 million was wagered in the state’s retail sportsbook locations. The state only breached the $300 million handle mark for the first time in October, showing how well the market is growing. 

While no operator-specific data is published by the LGCB, the boost is likely driven from the launch of ESPN BET, which first went live in the state on Nov 14. 

It wasn’t just on handle that ESPN BET’s presence was felt as the promotional spend section of the report revealed that the state’s operators spent $9.8m last month, comfortably outspending any other month this year. 

Ahead of the NFL season kick-off in September, operators only spent $1.3 million, displaying how much ESPN BET is willing to commit to gain market share. This has been evident in other states too, such as Pennsylvania, where the new operator spent almost $15m, and in Maryland, where it spent over $13m. 

While bets were at a record high, operators’ hold rate decreased to 8.1% in November, down from the 14.1% rate in October. Consequently, revenue stood at $29.3m, down considerably from the $42.3m made in October. 

However, this is an uptick from November 2022, where sportsbooks paid out $75m to Mattress Mack in an anomalous event that skewed the numbers and made operators lose $27.6m.

On the online front, $12.5m of the revenue made was from parlay bets, while football bets accounted for $4.5m of revenue. Around $4m was made from basketball bets, while $1.9m was made from other sports. 

Meanwhile, on the retail side, $1.1m was made from parlay bets, while basketball made $484k, football made $203k and other sports made $100k. Baseball bets resulted in a loss of $610k.