One Month Later: Mississippi Sees Nearly $10 Million in Sports Bets
The Mississippi Gaming Commission says from August 1st through Labor Day, gamblers in Mississippi bet $9.8 million on sporting events.
A total of 20 casinos have opened sportsbooks since sports betting became legal in Mississippi, and the state has a 12 percent tax on gross casino gaming revenue. The $9.8 million total includes both losing and winning bets, so a portion of that will go to paying off the winners. The total amount on taxable revenue will come out later this month.
Casinos earn around five percent from the bets placed, and the state gets eight percent on the casino’s take. When you consider that a casino in Mississippi will become the closest venue to place legal sports bets for 22 out of the 50 biggest cities in the United States, there’s potential for huge amount of revenue for the state and the casinos.
Legal Sports Betting in Mississippi
At noon on August 1, the Gold Strike Casino in Mississippi accepted its first legal sports bet. This was 26 years to the day after the first legal bet of any kind was made in the state. Mississippi joined Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey in being one of the four states to allow legalized sports betting.
Mississippi has 28 state-regulated casinos, plus two Choctaw Indian casinos, which aren’t included in the revenue to the state since they don’t report their figures. The Gold Strike in Tunica and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi were the first two Mississippi casinos to offer sports betting on August 1st; the others came after. The most recent casino to offer sports wagering was the Bok Homa Casino in Sandersonville, having opened a sportsbook on September 1st.
Bettors in Mississippi can make regional bets, or bet on any NFL pre-season and regular-season games, every MLB game, on NFL pre-season games, or on boxing, golf, the WNBA, and NASCAR.
Right now, customers at Mississippi casinos can only place bets in person since the casinos don’t yet have mobile betting capabilities, but that’s coming soon.
Mobile Sports Betting in Mississippi
The state could pull in even more gambling revenue if it would legalize mobile sports betting. Estimates of the illegal sports betting market in the US go from $60 to $400 billion every year. While Mississippi was smart to have passed a law in 2017 that anticipated the SCOTUS decision to overturn PASPA, thus allowing legalized sports betting in the country, legislators made a big mistake. They said that legal sports bets can only take place if the bettor is in a casino.
Without Internet-based mobile betting, Mississippi loses out on a huge income from the online sports betting market. Right now, someone in Mississippi can go online at home and place an illegal bet on sports. Why would they want to go to a casino in order to place a bet? Research shows that, unless online sports betting is made legal, 71 percent of bettors won’t bother to travel to nearby casinos to place bets. That means all of that tax revenue is being lost to illegal sportsbooks.
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