Mississippi's Casino Revenues Go up in the First Month of Legal Sports Betting

Publish: 20.10.2018

Great news for casinos in Mississippi, whose performance was on the rise during August, the first month of legal sports betting in the state.

Following the overturning of PASPA back in May, Mississippi launched sports betting on August 1, at MGM Resorts’ Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casino Resort venues.

A great August for casinos in Mississippi
In the four months since the US Supreme Court made the decision, in addition to Mississippi, Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia and have all launched regulated sports betting, joining Nevada in the busy and competitive market.

However, the Magnolia State Mississippi was at a disadvantage in its first month live, when compared for example to New Jersey, since fewer operators offered wagering on sports, while online or mobile betting wasn’t even on the menu.

The latter is unlikely to change soon since the plans only include geo-fenced mobile betting at casinos.

A Great Start

Last week, the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) released the August report, revealing that the commercial casinos operating in the state recorded combined gaming revenue of $181.7 million. The figures, represent an increase of 7.5% when compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Some casinos, such as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ Pearl River Resorts’ Golden Moon Hotel & Casino, the Churchill Downs-owned Harlow’s Casino Resort & Spa and Riverwalk Casino Hotel, and Golden Nugget Biloxi weren’t included in the August report since they didn’t go live until September.

Coastal casino segment was dominant during August, generating $108.7 million in revenue, 10.5% more than in the same period in 2017. Both northern and central segment were up during the 31-day period ending on August 31. The former took home $49.6 million (an increase of 3.3%), while the latter was up by 3% to $23.3 million.

According to available information, a total of $6.3 million worth of wagers were handled during the first month of legal betting on sports in Mississippi. That’s $3.5 million less than the amount reported earlier this month, though that number includes the first NFL weekend of the new season.

Baseball claimed the biggest portion of the handle – $3.3 million – while football took home a total of $1.3 million. Sports parlay generated $1.4 million, while basket and “other” sports claiming $154,000 and $97,000 respectively.

Sportsbooks in Mississippi recorded a 10.3% hold or $645,000, which is a decent result. Although football didn’t have the biggest handle, its revenue of $243,000 was the biggest one. Parlay cards were second-placed with $233,000, followed by baseball with 164,000.

Last year, Mississippi was one of the four states that recorded a yearly drop of 2% in casino gaming revenue to a little over $2.1 billion. The start of this year didn’t promise much, with the first three months failing to produce any improvement. April and May saw year-on-year increases, but the growth trend stopped in June and July.

That’s why casinos in Mississippi should be satisfied with the August performance. Whether the growth will continue in September is yet to be seen, but the experts expect the numbers will rise as the NFL’s regular season gets into full swing.

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