Sports wagering, though extremely commonplace, was not permitted in Louisiana. Many Louisianians traveled to Mississippi or Arkansas to participate, while others placed wagers online overseas. This resulted in tax money leaving Louisiana going to states that have already legalized gambling. The Legislature put a proposition on the ballot to allow Louisiana sports fans to wager on sports, and allow the state to get its fair share of the revenue by bringing in new tax dollars.
Louisiana can be described as a conservative state. This means that when broaching a subject like legalized gambling to the electorate it had to be done with strong messaging to the right demographic.
Our strategy was to go on offense early. Most impactful was the messaging and targeting. This radio ad delivered the right message to the right audience. The campaign was a huge success, winning 66% support statewide. More importantly, the ballot measure won in 55 of 64 parishes, the largest win ever for a gaming issue in Louisiana. The measure outperformed a similar vote authorizing fantasy sports contests in 2018 measurably, picking up 8 new parishes and improving percentages in 63 parishes. That referendum was also managed by Berni Consulting. The 55 parishes represent over 95 percent of the population in the state meaning that virtually the entire state will soon have legalized sports wagering.