Mississippi sports wagering revenue drops in staggering percentage

Mississippi sports wagering revenue drops in staggering percentage

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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) – In April earlier this year, the state of Arkansas legalized mobile sports wagering state-wide, following Louisiana back in January, and Tennessee back in 2020.

This brought the grand total to 21 states with more expected on the way in 2023.

Mississippi, however, has seen a decrease in sports wagering revenue, where mobile sports betting is not legalized.

According to the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission Jay McDaniel, he says there’s been about a 20% decrease in sports wagering revenue across the Magnolia State casinos.

He says the biggest problem a potential bill faces is making it to the legislative floor.

“If it were ever to get to the Gaming Committee, we talked about behind closed doors, it’s really because it hasn’t gotten to the floor, it hasn’t gotten into a committee discussion. If we get to that point, there may be be a time where we come in and give our perspective on it,” said McDaniel.

As of right now, the only way to legally place mobile wagers in state casinos is by using the BetMGM Sportsbook app.

The catch is, you must be on the premises of either the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi or the Goldstrike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi.

This is causing several out-of-state players who used to travel to Mississippi to place their bets, to now sit in their homes and do the same thing. McDaniel explained the possibility of different methods of mobile wagering for players…if the bill passes .

“With that statute, it would depend on how the legislature structures it,” he said. “Would it be open to every casino operator to put their own app out there? Would it be limited to a certain number? I don’t think in any realm would we just see BetMGM they have theirs ready, but I think if you saw a bill start to pass, there would be time for these other operators to get theirs ready.”

A huge reason why online betting legislation hasn’t passed is due to the fact that Mississippi has 26 casinos that serve as a major tourist attraction. McDaniel says casinos are doing well, aside from declining sports wagering revenue.

State lawmakers will reconvene in January.

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Jorge Oliveira

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