May was a slow month for the state of Mississippi for sports gambling revenue.
A few other states that have legalized sports gambling dipped as well during this past month including Pennsylvania. In total, the state of Mississippi had a handle of $17,438,287, which was down from $19.19 million in April. Again, this is not a big surprise as May is typically a down month for sports wagering.
On top of that, the win percentage for Mississippi came in at 6.84 percent with the taxable revenue being reported at $1,191,967 for the month of May. Those numbers fell off from a busier April where the taxable revenue was at 11 percent and the taxable revenue was around $2.6 million.
Mississippi, like Nevada, uses an accrual system which means that futures bets are not included in the total revenue report numbers.
Basketball as a whole for the month had a handle of roughly $5.75 million. That was in the middle of the NBA playoffs, which ended on June 13 when the Toronto Raptors took down the Golden State Warriors in a six-game NBA Finals series.
In comparison, baseball took over the reins in Mississippi in May – a handle of $8.2 million with taxable revenue of $362,137. The other reported numbers for sports bets came in at a $2.28 million handle for parlay cards and $1.19 million for miscellaneous bets.
The NCAA Baseball Tournament certainly has an impact especially in Mississippi, a Southern state which likes to follow its college teams. It is also one of the few states that permits betting on college teams, even in-state schools. Several schools in the region with great interest – Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn – all made the 16-team Super Region round and three of them made it to Omaha for the College World Series.
Major sportsbooks in Mississippi are smack dab in the middle of the Gulf Coast and those places are the consistent top revenue makers. In May the sportsbooks took in $10.98 million overall in bets placed. Sportsbooks at the casinos in state are also in Tunica, Lula, Greenville, Vicksburg and Natchez.
As of now, the state only allows betting in-person at the approved casinos, so that puts a damper on the entire revenue that could be had. However, the Mississippi Gaming Commission has said that it will be getting on-site mobile testing options going this summer.
Betting on mobile devices and desktop computers is something that the Mississippi state officials have looked into and even voted on, but nothing came to fruition this year.
Seven states can legally take sports wagers with Mississippi included. But, the lack of an online gambling aspect is hurting its business. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are the two states that have an edge since they offer sports betting on mobile devices and desktop computers. Those states have flourished in the year-plus since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal sports betting ban outside of Nevada.
For Mississippi, the job ahead remains to activate an online gambling market. They are missing out on so much revenue and lawmakers in the state have to know that.
For now, Mississippi will likely have to endure lower revenue in June and July, typically among the slowest months for sports wagering, and see how things plays out when both NFL and college football, two huge moneymakers, roll around in the fall.