Mississippi Casinos Suffer as Sports Betting Grows

By Ben Hamill - November 23 2018

Mississippi Casinos Suffer as Sports Betting Grows

The sports betting operations at Mississippi (MS) casinos have reported a small increase in their overall wagering handle for the month of October. However, revenues for the establishments dropped by more than three-quarters during the same month in review.

Figures that were released recently by the Mississippi Gaming Commission have shown that state-wide sports wagering handle came to just more than $32.8 million. This is around $1 million more than the US state’s commercial gambling venue operators reported in earnings for the month of September.

However, it should be noted that while September’s betting revenues came to a notable $5.3 million, due in part to a hefty hold of 17.3%, October’s earnings fell to a dismal $1.18 million as hold fell simultaneously to an equally concerning 3.6%. These numbers do not include takings from Mississippi’s tribal casinos, which all have their own sportsbooks attached.

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NJ Reports 41% Handle Increase

The state’s reported numbers seem very similar to those revealed by New Jersey for its own October earnings. NJ saw its handle grow by a whopping 41%, while revenues dropped by more than half of what was taken in during the previous month. Gambling establishments based in states in which betting is legal are quickly learning that punters and their stakes both move in some relatively unpredictable ways!

New Jersey’s significantly larger rise in handle can be attributed to the fact that the region allows both online and mobile gaming, while Mississippi’s industry is totally land-based at the present. The immense growth in NJ’s handle for October was generated mainly via its digital channels.

Luckily, casino venues in the state still managed to generate year on year revenue increases during the month in review, with takings growing more than $10 million to $167.3 million. For the year to date, gambling revenues have totaled $1.77 billion – a surprisingly small growth of just 2% from the same period of 2017.

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Louisiana Loses Customers to MS

Over the border in neighboring Louisiana, legislators have still not approved statewide sports punting legislation, despite local voters having approved the notion of daily fantasy sports through a mid-term ballot referendum. However, concerns are now mounting that Louisiana’s casinos are hemorrhaging customers to Mississippi’s attractive new wagering offerings.

It was only a few weeks ago when Louisiana Gaming Control Board chairman Ronnie Jones noted that he was seeing more and more of his state’s own license plates in the parkades of Mississippi’s gambling destinations. Jones added that it was challenging to quantify exactly how much LA casinos were losing due to their lack of legal sportsbooks, and also acknowledged that MS was definitely enjoying increased earnings through his region’s loss of business.

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