• Mississippi expects the lottery to launch in December.
  • Lotto President Thomas Shaheen has years of experience with start-up lotteries in the US.
  • Between sports betting and the lotto, MS could see tax revenues of $130-160 million annually.

JACKSON, Miss. – The last 12 months have been a watershed year for Mississippi gambling. Sports betting launched on August 1, 2018. Mississippi also legalized a state lottery on August 31, 2018.

While sports betting has already been up and running for eight months, Mississippi has not yet introduced the lottery. That could change this December.

According to Mississippi Today, the state’s Lottery Corporation Board (LCB) has finally elected a president.

The Mississippi LCB president is Thomas Shaheen. Shaheen served as the executive vice president of the North Carolina Education Lottery from 2006 to 2010.

Shaheen was also integral in launching lottery products in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. He has experience on the technical side of lotto operation, as well.

Shaheen’s highest-profile position was as president of the Multi-State Lottery Association. This is the company that operates the popular Powerball product across 44 states.

Gerald Gilbert, vice chairman of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, speaks highly of the new president’s pedigree. Per Gilbert, Shaheen’s “history in the leadership of lotteries will help Mississippi establish our lottery quickly and successfully.”

Analysts project the Mississippi Lottery to generate just under $100 million in annual revenue for the state.

This is far more than what Mississippi is gaining in taxes from legal sports betting. In the eight months since sports wagering has been available, Mississippi has roughly collected $25.4 million in revenue.

Lately, there has been rapid growth in the Mississippi sports betting market. However, projections still pale in comparison to what the lottery should generate.

That said, Mississippi has yet to legalize online sports betting. Once the state does that, tax revenue should increase sharply. In states that have land-based and mobile online wagering, the latter accounts for over two-thirds of the total wagering handle.

With mobile betting, Mississippi sports betting could generate over $60 million each year.

Still, sports betting is unlikely to ever be as revenue-friendly for Mississippi as the lottery promises to be. However, both gambling advancements together paint a rosy picture for the Magnolia State.

Mississippi law earmarks revenues from both gambling pastimes for Mississippi road repairs. Educational initiatives also receive a part of the proceeds.

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