Residents of Mississippi may have to wait for another week before they can place their bets on their favorite sports teams.
Reuters reported on Sunday that gambling operators have been given the green light to operate sports betting in Mississippi, exactly a month after the game was legalized in the state. However, Mississippi Gaming Commissioner Allen Godfrey said casino operators weren’t done with their preparations for sports betting activities, including the construction of sports bars and meeting other state requirements for the games.
He estimated that it will take at least two more weeks before sports betting becomes fully operational in the state’s casinos.
“Right now, the ones wanting to get started are still in the renovation phase,” Godfrey said, according to the news outlet.
On June 21, the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) approved final regulations governing sports betting at the state’s 28 brick-and-mortar gaming venues. The state’s law provides that local punters may start wagering on sports by July 21.
At least 13 of the 28 casinos, including riverboat casinos, applied to offer sports wagering as of Thursday, according to Godfrey. The official expects the remaining 15 casinos to seek permission to operate sports wagering as well.
The Palace Casino, along with the parent companies of Beau Rivage (MGM Resorts International), Harrah’s Gulf Coast (Caesars Entertainment), all in Biloxi, plus Boomtown Biloxi and Hollywood Casino (Penn National) in Bay St. Louis were the first casinos to apply for sports betting authorization, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Gaming Commission noted that they have yet to receive an application for mobile sports betting. Under the state law, mobile wagering may be done only inside gaming facilities.
Despite the minor hiccup, Mississippi remains on track to become the third U.S. state (besides Nevada) to offer sports wagering to its residents since the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. The first two states to open sports books outside Nevada were Delaware and New Jersey.