Sports betting handle in Mississippi fell 21.4% in a year-over-year comparison during September. However, revenue in the state remained level. As reported by the jurisdiction’s regulator, players bet $43.1 million last month, down from $54,8 million in 2021, although it doubled the amount spent by consumers in August 2022, which was $21.2 million.
Despite the decline in handle, revenue maintained its level compared to 2021, and reached $8.8 million. This figure was also 225.9% higher in contrast with August of this year, when winnings were as high as $2.7 million.
Bets were mainly placed at coastal casinos, with players wagering a total of $28.1 million, reaching $5.5 million in winnings. Meanwhile, spending at northern casinos totaled $6.9 million and revenue was $1.6 million. Handle for central casinos was $8.2 million, with revenue at $1.8 million.
Football surpassed baseball last month and became the sport of choice among bettors, with $16.5 million bet at coastal casinos, $3.1 million at central properties and $4.4 million at northern ones. Win percentage for the month was 20.4%, an increase from 16.1% in September last year.
Back in April, the state of Arkansas legalized mobile sports wagering at a state-wide level, following Louisiana and Tennessee. Mississippi, however, has yet to join its neighboring states.
According to the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Jay McDaniel, there have been large decreases in sports wagering revenue across the state’s casinos, and pointed out that the biggest problem a potential bill legalizing mobile wagering faces is making it to the legislative floor.
“If it were ever to get to the Gaming Committee, we talked about behind closed doors, it’s really because it hasn’t gotten to the floor, it hasn’t gotten into a committee discussion,” he said, as reported by WLBT. “If we get to that point, there may be a time where we come in and give our perspective on it.”
The only way to legally place mobile wagers nowadays in state casinos is by using the BetMGM Sportsbook app, but only while being on the premises of either the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi or the Goldstrike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi.
Should a bill pass, eventually, McDaniel believes that the methods of mobile wagering for players will vary depending on how the legislature structures it. “Would it be open to every casino operator to put their own app out there? Would it be limited to a certain number?,” he said. “I think if you saw a bill start to pass, there would be time for these other operators to get theirs ready.”
See Mississippi’s full sports betting report for September here.