- Mississippi sportsbooks have kept $30.5 million in revenue (pre-tax contributions) since the August 1, 2018 launch.
- A four-percent tax is given to the cities that host the sportsbooks, and the Tunica region is in need of the funds.
- Sam’s Town Casino is planning a college football kickoff party to celebrate their anniversary as well as football returning.
TUNICA, Miss. – Biloxi casinos have been in operation for 27 years to the day; however, the more recent expansion of gambling (sports betting) is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Mississippi.
The industry launched with Beau Rivage and Gold Strike casinos accepting the first wagers within the state, while IP Casino and Sam’s Town were only moments behind.
1st-Year Mississippi Sports Betting Numbers
In the first eleven reported months of operation (August 2018 – June 2019), Mississippi sportsbooks collected a total of $301,717,555.87 in betting action. Football betting made up 37.2% ($112.4 million) of the total sports betting handle while basketball was not far behind at 32.3% ($97.5 million).
The “coastal region” casinos were responsible for 62.76% ($189.4 million) of the handle and over half of every sportsbooks’ revenue as well.
With the $30.5 million kept by the books from losing wagers, the state’s general fund received $2.4 million in tax contributions and the cities hosting the sportsbooks took in an additional $1.2 million during the first year of legal Mississippi sports betting.
None of those cities could use the tax revenue better than the “northern region” of Mississippi in Tunica, Robinsonville, and Lula.
This region has seen two casinos close this year (Resorts Casino and Roadhouse Casino) and both neighboring states, Arkansas and Tennessee, have approved legislation to implement sports betting. A $250 million expansion is the focus of Arkansas’s Southland Casino Racing (only 45 minutes from Tunica Resorts) and Tennessee has introduced mobile-only betting legislation that could allow Mississippi residents to cross the border to make a quick wager.
Mississippi has yet to finalize statewide mobile betting, as casino goers are only able to wager from their phones when they are located within the casinos.
The Kickoff Of Football Season
Still, that hasn’t stopped some of Tunica properties from looking toward the future of MS sports wagering. LegalSportsBetting reached out to Sam’s Town Casino and they couldn’t express how excited they are for football to return.
“Everyone seems to be happy and the kiosks coming in last week are going to be great for football season,” said Kris Temple, the sportsbook manager for Sam’s Town.
The kiosks are designed just like the mobile betting platform and, according to Temple, bettors have already assimilated to them rather quickly. He believes it will expedite betting during in the near future because “Mississippi is football country.”
The football betting actually has already begun in Mississippi and Temple explained how Alabama and Clemson are getting the weight of the futures action, but the local teams like Ole Miss and Mississippi State aren’t too far behind.
When it comes to the games each week, betting on Alabama “is basically free money” according to Temple and the bettors know that as well.
There aren’t any plans to celebrate the one-year anniversary, but Sam’s Town is set to combine this celebration with the kickoff of college football betting. On August 31, every SEC team with the exception of the University of Florida and Texas A&M will play their first game of the season, and Sam’s Town is looking to capitalize.
The event will kick off with three 11 am CT games… two of which are the local universities. Ole Miss will be playing at Memphis while Mississippi State will be playing at the Superdome against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The night will conclude with an 8 pm CT concert from The Marshall Tucker Band. Tickets start at $20 and the information to buy tickets can be found on Sam’s Town’s website.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.