Mississippi has a unique, liberal set of gambling laws compared to many other southern states. Back in 2018, lawmakers here approved sports betting and today, several casinos in the state operate sportsbooks. This week, reports came out showing that sports betting revenue in Mississippi increased substantially in August.
It’s great news for casinos in this state. Today, we’re going to look at exactly how much revenue the state’s sports gambling operators made in August. We’ll also look at some of the other gambling options in Mississippi available right now.
Mississippi’s Road to Sports Betting Legalization
Unlike many states in the south, Mississippi has shown a willingness to embrace the gambling industry. There are a huge number of land-based and riverboat casinos in this state, many of which bring the state huge revenue earnings each month. In 2017, lawmakers here began taking a closer look at the sports gambling industry. Unfortunately, the state wasn’t able to officially launch any sportsbooks.
In May of 2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. Prior to this, only Nevada was legally allowed to offer sports betting options. With PASPA gone, every state now has the ability to set laws on the sports gambling industry.
Weeks after PASPA was removed, several politicians in Mississippi began calling for sports betting to become legal and regulated. In June of 2018, the state passed a law that allows for land-based sports betting inside licensed casinos. By August, several Mississippi casinos began offering sports betting odds to their patrons.
Today, almost every casino in the state has launched a sportsbook. Lawmakers here are still debating whether or not to allow online and mobile sports gambling options. For now, sports betting is only allowed inside land-based casinos.
Fortunately, the decision to legalize sports gambling is paying off.
Sports Betting Revenue in Mississippi Increases in August
Mississippi is known for having one of the most passionate sporting fan bases in the country. No major professional teams are based here, yet some of the top collegiate sports programs in the country call Mississippi home. There are a massive number of NFL fans in this state and it’s clear that many of them love to wager on the season outcomes.
New reports show that sports betting revenue in Mississippi increased by a staggering 48.5% in August. $19.9 million in sports bets were placed here last month. Most gambling analysts credit the start of the 2019/2020 NFL and NCAA football season for the surge in revenue.
The NFL remains the most popular sports league in the country. Mississippi bettors placed more than $6 million in football bets last month. This represents a 152% increase in money wagered compared to the same month last year.
The majority of this money came from Mississippi’s coastal region, where many of the biggest casinos, such as Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino, are located. 65.4% of all sports bets placed in August came from this area of the state.
Lawmakers have to be pleased to see this surge in revenue. Hope was always that sports betting would bring in money for the state. Things are definitely looking good.
Mississippi Casinos Voice Disapproval of State Regulation
As we’ve already mentioned, Mississippi is home to a huge number of fantastic casinos. Commercial and tribal casino gambling is legal in this state. Unfortunately, several major casinos here are upset with decisions the state is making with regards to the gaming industry.
Larry Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association, recently presented a letter to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. In this letter, he voiced the concerns that 26 of the casinos that he represents have over the state’s new casino regulations.
Gregory claims that the MGHA is “… concerned as it has watched the commission dedicate an extraordinary amount of its resources to assist RW and DH.”
He’s referring to the Gaming Commission’s support of RW Development and Diamondhead Real Estate, two companies pushing to open a new casino in the coastal region of Mississippi.
It looks as if these companies are being given special treatment. They’ve been twice denied to open a casino here, yet the state is willing to hear their appeal to open this new casino.
We’ll need to wait and see how the state responds to Gregory’s statements.
Sports betting revenue in Mississippi is surging right now. Hopefully, this trend continues for the rest of the year. Make sure to stay tuned for more Mississippi gambling news over the next few months!