The first full month of sports betting in the state of Mississippi has come to an end, with a total of $9.8m (€8.4m) wagered in that time frame, based on reports from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
Mississippi became the third state in the US to begin legal sports betting in 2018, starting just after Delaware and New Jersey, which began their operations in July.
The first wagers were placed in the state at the Beau Rivage Casino, Biloxi, and the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, both properties of MGM Resorts International.
During the first month of operations, a total of 20 commercial casinos started offering sports betting services.
First full month totals
According to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the 20 sports betting operators saw a total of $9.8m (€8.4m) in bets placed between August 1 and September 3. This figure includes the winning and losing bets, so the total amount shown will not be taxed. The taxable revenue figures will be provided later this month by the Commission.
The state taxes sportsbooks at 12%, with 8% going to the state and 4% locally.
On the revenues, the Gaming Commission executive director, Allen Godfrey said: “We did not really have any expectations, but these seem like positive numbers.”
The sportsbooks in Mississippi saw a pleasing spike in betting action over the weekend as college football kicked off. In the south, college football is a big deal, with residents of the state following the home teams of Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
The NFL kicks off this weekend, with many Mississippians fans of the New Orleans Saints, a team based in nearby Louisiana. Because Mississippi is located near Alabama, it is expected that University of Alabama fans will also be visiting casinos in the state to place their bets.
The Crimson Tide is currently ranked no. 1 in the NCAA and has a strong following in the south. Currently, Mississippi is the only state in the south where sports fans can bet on their favorite teams.
Of the 20 commercial casinos offering sports betting currently, not all were open during the entire reporting period. On top of the commercial casino sports betting offerings, two tribal casinos have also launched sportsbooks.
The Golden Moon Casino launched on August 30 and the Bok Homa Casino opened its book on September 1. These two Choctaw casinos are not regulated by the Gaming Commission.
West Virginia launches sports betting
Over the holiday weekend, the state of West Virginia officially entered the sports betting industry. The Hollywood Casino in Charles Town was the first to launch and more venues are expected to begin offering services later in the month.
According to the West Virginia Lottery, a total of $320,631.70 (€276,964.13) in taxable revenue was raised from the bets placed during the first weekend of operations. The tax rate is set at 10%, meaning that taxes will be paid to the state totaling $32,063 (€27,692).
As the NFL season begins this weekend, it is expected that the state will see an increase in bets placed. It is also expected that wagering will increase once the state launches mobile betting. Players will be able to place sports bets from anywhere via mobile instead of having to travel to a casino or race track to place their bet.
Currently, West Virginia is at an advantage as it is the only state in the region that offers sports betting. Pennsylvania has legalized the option, but has yet to offer services.