BlueBet Joining Louisiana Sports Betting Party

BlueBet, an Australian bookmaker, is joining the fast-growing Louisiana sports wagering market, announcing a decade-long access agreement with Louisiana Downs.

Louisiana Downs racetrack. Australia’s BlueBet is partnering with the venue on sports betting in the state. (Image: Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau)

Louisiana legalized sports wagering last October and mobile betting there went live in January. The Australian gaming company expects to launch in the state in the second quarter of 2023 following debuts in Iowa later this year and in Colorado in the first quarter of next year. Financial terms of the agreement with Louisiana Downs weren’t disclosed.

The market access agreement is BlueBet’s third in the US and will enable BlueBet Louisiana LLC to operate a new online sportsbook in Louisiana (pending regulatory approval and licensing). The agreement has a 10-year term,” according to a statement issued by the Aussie company.

Louisiana Downs is located in Bossier City, La. Rubico Acquisition Corp. acquired the venue in 2020, paying $22 million to Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) and VICI Properties (NYSE:VICI). Caesars sold the venue as part of its plan to shed some smaller gaming properties following a merger with Eldorado Resorts.

BlueBet Maintaining Asset-Lite Approach

BlueBet, which was founded in 2015, went public last year, promising investors it would use some of the proceeds from its initial public offering (IPO) to pursue US expansion.

BlueBet is looking to partner with regional casino operators that want in on the US sports betting growth but currently have limited or no sportsbook operational experience. The company employs an asset-lite, two-pronged approach in the US.

“Market access agreements are a key pillar of the first stage of BlueBet’s US market entry strategy, being to launch a B2C business to gain access to the lucrative US market and demonstrate the capability of BlueBet’s technology and team,” it said in the statement. “The second stage will be launching its white-labelled Sportsbook-as-a-Solution offering, enabling partners to benefit from BlueBet’s market-leading technology and expertise running profitable sportsbooks.”

Louisiana is a potentially lucrative market for BlueBet. The state is home to a sports-enthusiastic fan base and generated a handle of $238.4 million in February — its first full month of mobile sports wagering. That’s a solid tally considering there were no LSU football or New Orleans Saints games during that month.

BlueBet Eyeing Other States

In Colorado, Iowa and Louisiana BlueBet has exposure to some of the fastest-growing sports betting states in the US without the expenses required to operate in major markets such as New York or Pennsylvania.

In the aforementioned statement, the operator says it’s “in commercial discussions with skin holders in several other target states and is assessing up to ten further states where sports betting is legal but not yet operational.”

BlueBet doesn’t identify those states. Three states — Florida, Nebraska and Ohio — currently fit the bill as legal, but not operational as it pertains to sports betting while another nine have active legislation or ballot initiatives going before voters this year.

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