Mississippi Sports Wagering on Rise Thanks Largely to SEC


By Jake Perper

May 22nd, 2019 - 8:30am

The Southeastern Conference is a big deal when it comes to football and basketball and that has been true for quite some time.

Mississippi is the lone state represented in the SEC that allows legal sports gambling.

Betting in the state is quite different especially when it comes to SEC sports that become popular bets. College sports in the Deep South have a monopoly on the sports gambling landscape, especially in Mississippi.

Mississippi Outlook In Sports Gambling World

A year ago, the national ban on sports betting outside of Nevada went away when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Aug. 1, 2018 marked the first time anyone could make a legal sports wager in Mississippi, at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi.

In 2018 alone, Mississippi raised more than $1 million in tax revenue from $116 million placed on sporting events. And early in 2019 the revenue projections have been well ahead of the 2018 pace.

The upswing of popularity and attention have led to a strong revenue stream for the state from the local casino operators offering sports bets. The Beau Rivage features a sportsbook that provides a ton of options for sports bettors and is currently being revamped while further sportsbooks from the area’s casinos are undergoing upgrades.

The Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino manager, Jonathan Jones, told the Sun Herald on Monday that the legal sports gambling enhances the experience for any tourist driving or flying into the city of Biloxi.

Casinos tend to have a slower season before and following the Christmas season, but with the football and basketball fandom in the state, this has become a popular betting time.

College Sports Will Keep This Booming

The Golden Nugget Biloxi is a major player in Mississippi and the sportsbook manager there, Kathryn Lopez, made the trek down from Las Vegas to Biloxi. She went from working with a ton of NFL and NBA action to seeing the college sports scene that lies in the state.

“I vastly underestimated the love of college sports down here,” Lopez told the Sun Herald.

Furthermore, the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino sportsbook director, Will Hall, had this to say about the action that cycles around the college sports world.

“I would rate that our top draw,” Hall said. “College football is 11 in the morning to 10 o’clock at night.”

In-Game Betting & Technology Future

Placing bets during games is an option that is more popular outside of the United States. In Europe, more people bet during the game than before the game, according to Sportradar North America sports betting sales director Dominic Atkinson.

“So, in tennis you’ll be betting on who’s going to win the next point, or in soccer who’s going to make the next goal,” Atkinson told the Sun Herald.

On top of those changes on the horizon for future bettors, the technology landscape that comes with portable devices such as phones or tablets will make things more fun for sports wagering. If the casinos and sportsbooks can adapt to the changes and progress in technology, then we should see even more ways to make bets and at quicker rates.

Mississippi is in the thick of things, with a large college sports scene that won’t go away. Sportsbooks in the Magnolia State are taking advantage and the revenue arrow should continue to point up.

Written By
Jake Perper

Jake Perper covers gambling news for TopUSBets.com. He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida based out of Tampa, Florida and has covered the Chicago Bears for the... Read More

Jake Perper covers gambling news for TopUSBets.com. He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida...

.. Read More