Abstract Background: Laccases have good potential as bioremediating agents and can be used continuously in the immobilized form like many other enzymes. Methods: In the present study, laccase from Cyathus bulleri was immobilized by entrapment in Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA) beads cross-linked with either nitrate or boric acid. Immobilized laccase was used for dye decolorization in both batch and continuous mode employing a packed bed column. The products of degradation of dye Acid Red 27 were identified by LC MS/MS analysis. Results: The method led to very effective (90%) laccase immobilization and also imparted significant stability to the enzyme (more than 70% after 5 months of storage at 4°C). In batch decolorization, 90-95% decolorization was achieved of the simulated dye effluent for up to 10-20 cycles. Continuous decolorization in a packed bed bioreactor led to nearly 90% decolorization for up to 5 days. The immobilized laccase was also effective in decolorization and degradation of Acid Red 27 in the presence of a mediator. Four products of degradation were identified by LC-MS/MS analysis. Conclusions: The immobilized laccase in PVA-nitrate was concluded to be an effective agent in treatment of textile dye effluents. © 2015 Chhabra et al.; licensee BioMed Central.