Mississippi recently marked its first anniversary of legal sports gambling.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission has yet to announce the Gambling Gross Revenue (GGR) from the month of July. But if the numbers are similar to June’s then it will sit at around $32 million for the year, according to The National Law Review.
Bets were originally made at Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Gold Strike in Tunica and IP and Sam’s Town Tunica.
Allen Godfrey, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, predicted last May that Mississippi would see $60 million to $100 million in supplementary Gambling Gross Revenue for sports gambling.
Two years ago, Oxford Economics ran a study for the American Gaming Association that put the figure for sports gambling in Mississippi’s first overall year at roughly $197 million in GGR. That included a direct and indirect increase in income of nearly $99 million.
In 2017, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated that the overall U.S. sports gambling market would be worth about $6.03 billion in annual revenue by 2023. The National Law Review pegged the share for Mississippi’s part at around $325 million.
The other estimation came from The National Law Review itself which had the GGR at roughly $75 million.
None of those numbers are close to the initial estimation from the MGG, but there is plenty to be happy about for state officials. Money is being made at Mississippi’s casinos.
The MGG does not have sports betting revenue listed from three casinos that are operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. It only reports numbers from the commercial casinos in their state.
The Choctaw Tribe does not release its revenue numbers publicly.
Another key note is that the GGR is up overall for these commercial casinos over the last year, so even if the sports betting numbers aren’t what was predicted, the casinos are boosting their value overall.
According to The National Law Review, the Magnolia State saw an overall increase in GGR of about $104 million from Aug. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
Mississippi is seeing different people come in and out of its commercial casinos and it has led to this bump in GGR for the year.
“I’ve noticed a significant amount of foot traffic (in casinos). The operators have told me how many more people are coming in, especially people they haven’t seen in a while,” Godfrey told The National Law Review. “It’s a different clientele, probably a little younger, people who love sports. We know football is key here in the south, especially college football.”
Only the Choctaw Tribe currently has mobile sports betting in Mississippi. The commercial casinos in place do not have online sports betting options as Mississippi gaming legislation only allows mobile sports bets inside the casino walls.
With college football and NFL season right around the corner, this is going to be an important area to focus on for the MGG. With no pro sports teams in the state, college football is king in Mississippi – especially Ole Miss, Mississippi State and the rest of the SEC – in terms of fan interest.