Mississippi Thwarts Hopes for A 2020 Sports Betting Expansion

Mississippi Thwarts Hopes for A 2020 Sports Betting Expansion

Mississippi’s newest legislation for legalizing online and mobile sports betting in the state has failed to gain momentum for the second year in a row. This means that punters will have to stick to retail sports betting options only. The only way to participate in mobile sports betting is to do it within the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos.

New proposals die

The House Gaming Committee witnessed the end of House Bill no. 172 on Tuesday while the Senate Gaming Committee ended Senate Bill no. 2613. Three other bills with mobile sports betting options- House Bill no. 941, House Bill no. 959 and Senate Bill no. 2614 have also met a dead end.

Mississippi Thwarts Hopes for A 2020 Sports Betting Expansion

The first bill this year was HB 172 introduced by Democratic Rep. Cedric Burnett. His House District 9 is critical for the state’s gaming industry as it includes Tunica. The region is the home to Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming casinos. All three companies have started mobile sports betting operations in other states and are well-positioned to offer the same in Mississippi as well. FanDuel, DraftKings and William Hill are other prominent players in the state. Other bills were not filed until February.

The casino industry hasn’t made any public comments on the bills yet. This could also mean that none of the bills had adequate support from the industry. It could also be possible that the state’s casino industry hasn’t achieved consensus on what kind of law they want in the mobile/online sports betting segment.

Is Mississippi doing well?

Since its launch in August 2018 to January 2020, retail sportsbooks in the state have handled total wagers of $570 million. The average handle per month is about $31 million. The state isn’t a top market in the US in terms of sports betting. It could, however, improve its prospects if it includes mobile and online sports betting.

Mississippi could follow the footsteps of Indiana which has handled over $600 million in wagers between September 2019 and January 2020. The state’s first online/mobile sportsbooks launched in October 2019, which now handle over 70% of wagers. A 2017 study commission by the American Gaming Association to Oxford Economics, suggests that the state could double its wagering handle if it allows mobile/online betting. The state is already home to over two dozen sportsbook and internet wagering options will only increase its revenues with time.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.