Mississippi Casino Revenue: Latest Numbers Show a Sharp Rise
Revenue figures from Mississippi’s government released on Thursday showed that gamblers lost a total of $181 million in August, compared to $168 million in August last year. Out of that amount, $645,000 was on sports bets lost.
In the first month of sports betting in Mississippi, $7.7 million worth of bets were placed. At the 12 coastal casinos, revenue went up 10 percent; at the 16 river casinos, revenue went up by four percent. Since tribal casinos don’t report their winnings to the state, these numbers don’t count revenue from the Choctaw Indian casinos.
Gambling in Mississippi
Mississippi has 36 casinos, with poker, slots, and gaming machines. With the advent of legal sports betting in Mississippi, which started August 1st, there’s even more gambling opportunities for residents and visitors to the Magnolia State.
Gambling is restricted to land- and water-based casinos and so far, that also applies to sports betting.
Sports Betting in Mississippi
In 2017 Mississippi repealed the part of its law that prohibited sports gambling, and when the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting outside of Nevada in May, the state was quick to roll out regulations for sports betting. The first legal sportsbooks opened on August 1st. The first two casinos to accept sports bets were Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Gold Strike in Tunica.
On sports betting revenues, casinos pay 12 percent with eight percent going to the state and the remainder going to local government. This is the same as other gaming tax in the state.
For now, sports gambling is only allowed on premises, although some casinos will offer sports betting apps. However, these apps will only support gambling on the premises.
Sportsbooks offer a wide range of wagering on collegiate and professional athletic events, including those on Mississippi State and Ole Miss games. This differs from other states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which do not allow people to place wagers on collegiate events in-state.
The Mississippi Gaming commission is responsible for the oversight and regulation of the sports betting industry.
Mississippi Sports Betting Locations
As of this writing, there are several commercial casinos where sports gamblers may place bets (not an exhaustive list):
- 1st Jackpot Casino;
- Beau Rivage Resort & Casino;
- Boomtown Casino;
- Gold Strike Casino Resort;
- Golden Nugget;
- Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast;
- Hollywood Casino Tunica;
- Horseshoe Casino & Hotel;
- IP Casino Resort Spa; and
- Sam’s Town.
There is also one tribal casino where sports betting is possible:
- Golden Moon Hotel & Casino at Pearl River Resort
Any gaming license holder can apply to offer sports gambling. There are around 30 currently licensed gaming holders in Mississippi, so it’s inevitable that more locations will apply and open up sportsbooks.
As mentioned, August was the first month where sports betting was legal in Mississippi, and the licensed venues reported handling $6.3 million in wagers during the month of August. Out of the $6.3 million handle, baseball took $3.3 million and football took just over $1.3 million. Sports parlay cards generated $1.4 million in handle, “other” sports generated $154,000 and basketball brought in $97,000.
Casino execs and gambling regulators hope that the legalization of sports betting will bring in more money for casino restaurants and hotels. Once September has come and gone, the deputy director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission said they will look at whether sports gambling is causing revenue increases elsewhere, and determine by how much.
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