Mississippi Ranks #3 in Top Gambling States in the US

Mississippi Flag, Poker Cards Pile
According to the American Gaming Association, Mississippi is one of the top gambling states in the entire country, taking third place after Oklahoma, in second place, and Nevada, in first place.

Using data from the American Gaming association (americangaming.org), here is a closer look at the average amount gambled by resident per year, by state in alphabetical order:

  • Arizona – $265
  • California – $211
  • Colorado – $281
  • Connecticut – $236
  • Delaware – $447
  • Florida – $147
  • Idaho – $89
  • Illinois – $108
  • Indiana – $335
  • Iowa – $510
  • Kansas – $229
  • Louisiana – $674
  • Maine – $107
  • Maryland – $290
  • Massachusetts – $40
  • Michigan – $286
  • Minnesota – $269
  • Mississippi – $717
  • Missouri – $286
  • Montana – $250
  • Nevada – $3,928
  • New Jersey – $326
  • New Mexico – $525
  • New York – $179
  • North Dakota – $320
  • Ohio – $159
  • Oklahoma – $1,141
  • Oregon – $263
  • Pennsylvania – $254
  • Rhode Island -$620
  • South Dakota – $288
  • Washington – $336
  • West Virginia – $345
  • Wisconsin – $229

Why is Gambling in Mississippi So Popular?

For one, Mississippi is currently the only state in the Southeastern Conference where sports fan can legally bet on football or basketball. Since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting across the states, Mississippi was essentially given a monopoly on sports betting in the South.

Couple that sports betting monopoly with the overwhelming number of people who love college sports in the state, and you have a winning recipe for gambling success.

“I vastly underestimated the love of college sports down here,” said Kathryn Lopez, sport book manager at Golden Nugget Biloxi, who moved from Las Vegas to Biloxi.

Will Hall, director of the sports book at the Beau Rivage, said that Mississippi’s prime location also makes it a draw for bettors, saying that the state is smack dab in the middle of the SEC school action, making for more passionate fans. According to him, “College football is 11 in the morning to 10 o’clock at night,” in the Southern state.

Betting is in Mississippi’s Bones

Even before the official legalization of sports betting in the state, Biloxi has had a drawn-out history of bookies and fantasy sports participation.

“People in this area knew how to bet,” said Chett Harrison, general manager of Golden Nugget Biloxi.

When you get people who know how to bet, and you factor out the time needed to master the learning curve, you pretty much have players who are ready from the get-go to lay down their dollars.

What’s Next for Gambling in the State?

Currently, gambling in the state in only allowed on-site at the state’s 39 casinos. Electronic mobile sports betting is permitted, but it must be on the grounds of a casino. While a bill was introduced to legalize mobile wagering outside of casinos, the bill went without a hearing and died out last February.

As of last November, the Biloxi Capital firm, which includes Coast developer Danny Conwill, is looking to turn the old Tivoli Hotel into East Biloxi’s newest $600 million casino resort. It lays on a 30-acre tract of beachfront, located just west of the Biloxi Yacht Club.

Councilman Felix Gines, who represents that direct area of East Biloxi, said this of the exciting new development plan:

“A development of this nature in East Biloxi will only help stimulate other much needed developments such as housing and retail growth. There isn’t a better location in Biloxi to help stimulate and kick start growth in the area. We believe in letting the market dictate itself…this could also be a game-changer for the city of Biloxi. This is a development that we’ve been working on for a while.”