- PointsBet has announced the launch of mobile and online betting in Louisiana.
- The launch is the 4th state under a partnership with PENN Entertainment (formerly Penn National Gaming).
- Louisiana is the 13th US market for PointsBet joining Maryland, Kansas, New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania. They’re also live with mobile sports betting in Ontario.
PointsBet has been making like Elvis and ‘TCB’ (taking care of business) lately. They’ve recently launched in Kansas in partnership with the Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel. They followed that up by adding their 12th US market with the debut of a retail sportsbook in Maryland. Now they’ve set up shop in their 13th US market, going live with mobile and online betting in Louisiana.
If you want to get all technical about it, PointsBet is now live with online and mobile betting in 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana (a ‘parish’ in Louisiana is basically the same thing as a county everywhere else in the United States). Sports betting was put to a referendum on a parish by parish basis and 55 of 64 of them voted to approve it. This arrangement not only prohibits retail sports betting in the nine parishes that voted it down, it also prohibits the unfortunate residents of these cultural backwaters from mobile and/or online play. Can you imagine how pissed off you would be if you lived in one of these places? Not only would you lack running water, an education past the third grade or teeth you’d have to leave the parish just to place a sports bet. The Louisiana parishes where sports betting is prohibited are Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Sabine, Union, West Carroll and Winn. Interestingly, all of these counties have a poverty rate in excess of 20% except for LaSalle (19.5%) and Union (18.1%). Way to build up that economic base!
The good news is that in the remaining 55 parishes the sports betting scene is pretty good. The tax rate is a bit higher than it should be: 10% for retail sports bets and 15% for online/mobile wagers. Unfortunately, these rates are downright reasonable compared to the absurd tax rates in states like New York (51%) and Pennsylvania (36%). The state’s regulations are conducive to a competitive, player friendly environment–as currently constructed Louisiana will allow as many as 41 mobile/online sportsbooks. Mobile and online sports betting will go live at 8 AM Central Time on Friday, January 28. In addition to the 14 retail sportsbooks operating in Louisiana and the mobile platforms that are set to go live there will be another sports betting option forthcoming. Retail betting kiosks will be operated in restaurants and bars but unfortunately this will be under the auspices of the state lottery. No wonder it will be the last component of Louisiana’s sports betting to go live.
Now the residents of the 55 parishes that *aren’t* run by fundamentalist loons can play at PointsBet. PointsBet–which made the smart decision to open an office in Denver–is now live in 12 states with online betting and 13 states overall. For those of you scoring at home, the states are: Maryland, Kansas, New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania. They’re also live with mobile sports betting in Ontario. The Louisiana launch is the 4th state launch under the partnership with Penn National Gaming (now PENN Entertainment) announced on 1 August 2019 (and extended on 26 March 2021). For some reason, the PointsBet press release still refers to their partners as Penn National–a clear lapse of attention on the part of their PR team.
If we selected an All Star team of US sports betting executives, PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken would be an easy first team pick. Here’s his quote about launching in Louisiana:
“The PointsBet team is excited to share that we are now officially live in the
Pelican state and that Louisiana is our twelfth state of online operations. The sports
community of Louisiana, one that our very own brand ambassador Drew Brees is very
familiar with, is unmatched with their devotion and passion for their local teams, the
New Orleans Saints of the NFL, New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA and nationally
recognized college football programs. We look forward to delivering Louisiana sports
fans, from Bourbon Street to the Bayou, our fast, premium sports betting products.
And, with the NFL and CFB season in full swing, the timing is perfect to showcase our
live betting capabilities.”
On a macro level, the United States (or more specifically the individual states therein) have done much to bungle the opportunities presented by sports betting. The growth of PointsBet’s presence across the US is one of the good things that has happened.