Sports betting revenues continues to decline

By Aaron Rice
July 9, 2019

Revenue from sports betting continues to decline in Mississippi as the slow season for betting continues a couple months before football resumes.

Taxable revenue for the month of May totaled just under $1.2 million, down from around $2 million in April. In March, revenues were just under $4.9 million, a far outlier from recent trends, thanks to the college basketball tournament. January and February hovered between $2.7 and $2.8 million. 

The biggest win for Mississippi’s casino-only sports betting industry, however, was Louisiana’s inability to pass their own legislation which would have legalized sports betting in Pelican State casinos and race tracks. The proposed legislation would have required local referendums in each parish, but it died on the last day of the session.

Lawmakers will not meet again until next March.

Other neighboring states

In Arkansas, sports betting became legal last week. Last November, voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing sports betting and the Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, is the first to welcome betters. While the timeline is still to be determined, a casino closer to home, Southland Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, is expected to begin collecting wagers soon. Competition has swallowed a lot of the revenue Mississippi once experienced, and this would likely add further pains to Tunica area sports betting operations.

Tennessee could also add to those pains, but they have some work to do. The state passed an online-only sports betting bill earlier this year, but it has many issues – requiring sportsbooks to buy official league data to settle in-play wagers, a very expensive entry point and high taxes, and a ban on prop bets in NCAA games. Much work remains before the Volunteer State is taking bids. 

Legislation was introduced in Alabama this year, but it did not move and most consider sports betting a long-shot with our neighbors to the east.


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