Bettors wagered $9.8 million at Mississippi’s licensed sportsbooks in the period between August 1-September 3, Allen Godfrey, Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, revealed on Thursday.
Mississippi was the third US state to launch legal sports betting operations after the US Supreme Court struck down in mid-May the federal ban on wagering on sports leagues. The Magnolia State’s legislation allowing sports betting at the state’s casinos took effect on July 21. It took nearly two weeks before betting services were officially launched in Mississippi.
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and Gold Strike Casino in Tunica were the state’s first gambling venues to launch sports betting facilities. The two properties accepted their first bets on August 1. More casinos across the state have followed suit since then and more are yet to go live with their sports betting facilities.
As many as 20 of the state’s commercial casinos currently operate sportsbooks. In addition, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians cut the ribbon on its own sportsbook, billed as the first tribal one outside Nevada, on August 31. The betting facility is located at the gaming floor of Gold Moon Casino at Pearl River Resort in the city of Choctaw. Here it is important to note that the reported betting handle figure does not include wagers made at the Choctaw property, as tribal gambling venues fall under the purview of different regulators and regulations.
How Has Mississippi Performed Compared to Other States?
As mentioned above, Mississippi was the third state to open sports betting facilities, following the landmark SCOTUS ruling from earlier this year. Delaware and New Jersey were the first to undertake the necessary actions and launch sports betting operations.
Delaware had three operational sportsbooks during the first month of legal sports betting and that generated handle of $8.2 million over the period between June 25-July 29. The state is home to around 1 million residents.
New Jersey was the second state to adopt the necessary legislation authorizing sports betting within its borders. According to information provided by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, local sportsbook took in $40.6 million in wagers during their first full month of operation, July 1-July 31. New Jersey has a population of around 9 million people. As for Mississippi, it has population of about 3 million people, according to latest estimates.
Mr. Godfrey said yesterday that betting activity was ramped up by last weekend’s opening of the college football season. The start of the new NFL season and the first full slate of games over the weekend is expected to further boost activity at the state’s sportsbooks.
West Virginia was the fourth state to launch legal wagering on professional and collegiate sports after the PASPA ban was lifted earlier this year. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races was the state’s first gambling venue to launch a sportsbook. The facility was soft-opened on August 30 and celebrated its official opening on September 2. According to information from the West Virginia Lottery, the sportsbook raked in over $295,000 in taxable revenue during its first three days of operation.