Mississippi casinos praise pigskin as September sports betting soars


mississippi-sports-betting-revenue-septemberMississippi’s legal sports betting market reported wagering handle quintupling in September as a new NFL season drew throngs of punters to the casinos’ betting windows.

Figures released Monday by the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) show the state’s licensed commercial casino operators generated sports betting turnover of just under $31.8m in September, up from a mere $6.3m in the month of August, the first month of legal wagering in the state.

Mississippi sportsbooks reported winning $5.3m from the state’s bettors versus just $645k that the books kept in August. The books reported a statewide hold of 17.3%, a borderline obscene figure when compared to August’s already respectable 10.3% hold.

Nearly $23m of September’s sports betting handle was wagered on football, up from just $1.3m in August. Slightly over $4.5m was spent on parlay cards, more than tripling August’s $1.4m, while baseball generated handle of $3.75m, only around $450k higher than August’s total. Adding insult to injury, baseball’s win rate was in negative territory for the month.

Mississippi’s September betting figures are dwarfed by those reported in New Jersey, where handle topped $184m and revenue — the actual kind, i.e. not counting pending wagers — hit $18.8m. But unlike Mississippi, New Jersey has online and mobile wagering options, which accounted for over half of betting handle last month.

Despite the significant sports betting improvement, the state’s overall casino gaming revenue totaled $182.8m in September, up nearly 8.7% from the same month last year but only around $1.1m higher than August 2018’s total. Statewide slots revenue totaled nearly $147.4m while tables games added just under $26.8m.

Of the state’s three gaming regions, the dominant Coastal region posted September’s biggest year-on-year improvement, rising 13% to $108m. The Northern region was up nearly $3m to $51.9m, while the Central region was down nearly 4% to $22.9m.

None of the above figures include contributions from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ three casinos, which don’t report their fiscal performance to the MGC.