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Mississippi casinos posted just $1.18 million in revenue on roughly $33 million in handle in October. Handle rose by more than $1 million from September, while revenue dropped more than $4 million.
All Mississippi sports betting takes place at retail sportsbooks because state regulations prevent widespread mobile wagering. Casinos may approve the use of mobile apps while on the property, but no wagering can occur anywhere else. No casino does that yet though.
The state’s gaming commission reports Mississippi sports betting revenue in three geographic categories:
Here’s a sport-by-sport breakdown of Mississippi sports betting from October:
|Overall September revenue||$416,843||$214,454||$547,047||$1,178,343|
The axiom never changes: Every sportsbook depends on football as its prime revenue driver for the year. In the heart of the South, though, casinos bank on gridiron action even more than those in other states.
That means when football bettors enjoy some of their stronger weeks of the year, Mississippi sports betting will feel the pain. That’s what happened in October, as college and NFL football accounted for roughly two-thirds of all wagers in Mississippi.
Biloxi took the brunt of the Mississippi sports betting losses. Coastal sportsbooks in Mississippi lost $600,000 on more than $15 million in football bets.
Just how stark is the contrast from last month? The coastal books won better than $2.9 million on football in September, representing more than half the total revenue in Mississippi.
With handle climbing only slightly in Mississippi sports betting last month, an old question about its potential gains new relevance:
Just how successful can Mississippi sportsbooks become without mobile/online sports betting?
Look no further than the Garden State to understand where the future of legal sports betting will go. Last month in New Jersey sports betting, bettors placed about two-thirds of all wagers via mobile/online apps. That grew from about a 50-50 split in September.
With major players like MGM Resorts, Caesars and Boyd Gaming all heavily invested in Mississippi sports betting, a transition to mobile could occur seamlessly. All operate established mobile apps that could turn on quickly in the Magnolia State.
State regulators still hold the keys to that kingdom, though. With neighboring Arkansas set to launch sports betting next year and Louisiana considering the same, Mississippi cannot rely solely on its regional exclusivity to maintain its lead for long.