Mississippi Sports Betting: Revenue From September Sets New Monthly Record for 2023

profile image of marcomarin
Mississippi Rebels players celebrate during the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 28, 2023. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

The summer doldrums are officially over in the Magnolia State as football has returned to the scene and its presence was undeniable as Mississippi’s retail sportsbooks buzzed with activity, generating the second-highest handle and the most revenue by far this 2023. 

Between August and September, the Mississippi sports betting revenue tripled for a grand total of $8.14 million.

Sports Betting Revenue Spikes in September

From April through July the sports betting handle in Mississippi showed month-over-month decreases until it began to percolate in August followed by a full-blown boil in September.  

With the return of NFL and college football has triggered the spike in sports betting across the nation including the Magnolia State where the Mississippi Gaming Commission reported $51.64 million in accepted wagers. This was a 141% increase from August’s $21.39 million and nearly triple July’s $17.7 million

However, the big story was the $8.14 million in revenue produced in September which was up over 200% from August’s $2.69 million and easily outpaced April’s previous high for 2023 of $4.3 million. 

The sports betting data coming out of Mississippi is relatively light compared to other states which is due to the absence of mobile sports betting. Mississippi passed sports betting legislation shortly after the SCOTUS overturned PASPA, the law that previously outlawed sports betting in 2018. However, it was limited to retail establishments only. 

Retail Operations

There are approximately 30 sportsbooks located in casinos and riverboat betting operations throughout the state but the brick-and-mortar facilities do not generate nearly the amount of activity produced from mobile sportsbooks.  

The convenience of placing a bet on a PC or mobile device without having to visit the sportsbooks has proven to be a boon to the sports betting business but Mississippi is currently without such a law that would allow the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars to stake their digital claim on the Mississippi sports betting market.

Will Mobile Sports Betting Come to Mississippi? 

Based on the impressive revenue generated by mobile sports betting seen in all other states that have regulated the digital market, it would appear to be a foregone conclusion that Mississippi should also share in those lucrative revenues.  

However, giving the retail market sole jurisdiction over bookmaking in the state has its benefits. The increased foot traffic is good for business in the casinos and riverboats while the ancillary effects are also beneficial for local businesses and restaurants that welcome bettors to their establishments. Once the mobile market takes hold, the numbers could decline and that could impact a variety of businesses that are currently benefitting, including the retail sportsbooks themselves. 

Primary Concern

Mississippi state Senator Mike Thomas said, “My primary concern is how to make sure that we don’t do anything that jeopardizes the destination gaming product that Mississippi gaming has been built on. 

“At one point in time, we had nearly 80% of our casinos with drive-in traffic. Those patrons don’t necessarily stay on casino properties. (…) in the community. They eat at restaurants. They go fishing and visit towns like Bay St. Louis, Ocean Springs, and Pass Christian. The destination gaming product is important to the entire coast.” 

But it is unlikely mobile betting will continue to be shunned as Rep. Casey Eure, chairman of the Mobile Online Sports Betting Task Force and the House Gaming Committee, has announced that he will submit legislation for mobile sports betting when the legislature convenes in January.