Mississippi Brings in $1M in Sports Betting Revenue
Since August, when Mississippi opened its first legal sportsbook, people placed $116 million in bets on different sporting events at casinos in the state. This resulted in tax revenue of $1.03 million for the state, which has some politicians happy and others still hoping for more.
Legal Sports Betting in the U.S.
Sports gambling has been illegal in all states aside from Nevada since 1992 when the federal government enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). In May of this year, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, ruling it unconstitutional. Without federal legislation, each state is free to set its own laws surrounding the activity, and a number of states have already done so, including Mississippi, which was the third state to legalize sports betting.
Legal Sports Betting in Mississippi
The first legal sportsbooks opened in August in Mississippi and during that month, the state earned $54,000 in revenue. Three months later, November’s tax revenue more than tripled, with a take of $188,000.
If Mississippi legalizes online and mobile sports betting, there’s no telling how much more the state will make. In New Jersey, where online and mobile sports betting is legal, bettors placed around 66 percent of all of their wagers in October using a computer or mobile device. Imagine what the numbers would be like in Mississippi if lawmakers legalized online and mobile sports betting.
Speaking of New Jersey, the Garden State’s sports betting market is getting close to $1 billion in bets placed since it opened legal sportsbooks in mid-June. In November alone, racetrack- and casino-based sportsbooks took in more than $330 million worth of wagers. Casinos kept $21.2 million from sports gamblers after paying out the winners; total bets placed came to $257 million. The state of New Jersey took in $2.4 million in sports betting taxes for the month of November.
Sports Betting Taxes
Out of the state’s 28 casinos, there are still a few that don’t offer sports betting. Casinos pay a total of 12 percent tax on their take from sports betting, with eight percent going to the state and four percent going to the local government where the casino is located. The take is what is left after the casino pays out the winners.
In addition to the casinos paying taxes on their revenue, individual bettors are also responsible for paying taxes on any winnings. A spokesperson for the Department of Revenue, Kathy Waterbury, said that three percent of non-refundable tax is taken by the casinos and forwarded to the state under specific circumstances on:
“winnings that are greater than $600 and the odds are greater than 300 to 1. If the winnings do not meet these thresholds, then the winnings are subject to income tax at the time of filing the annual income tax return. The winnings would also be offset by any gaming losses the individual incurred.”
Between July 1 and the end of November, Mississippi has collected $55.7 million in revenue on total casino winnings, which is an increase of 5.5 percent compared to the same time frame last year.
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