Mississippi Sports Betting Dips in January Amid Mobile Option Debate

Mississippi Sports Betting Dips in January Amid Mobile Option Debate
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

At a time when the state is considering a bill to legalize mobile wagering on sports, the latest retail Mississippi sports betting figures should bolster the argument for the legislation’s advocates.

After consecutive months with handle of more than $70 million dollars from wagering on sports, January started the new calendar year with a steep decline.

The handle, or amount wagered, in Mississippi was $57,223,251 in January. That’s a 23.0% decrease in a month-over-month comparison with December, when the total was $74.36 million combined at the state’s 26 commercial casinos.

Last month’s total bet was also down 14% from January 2022 ($66.5 million).

Revenue derived from sports betting also decreased sharply, from $11.3 million in December to $5,117,380 in January, a 54.7% drop. Last month’s figure was also a 21.5% dip compared to 12 months earlier, when the state had $6.52 million in sports betting revenue.

Mississippi Sports Betting, January vs. December

Betting handle Revenue
January $57.223M $5.117M
December $74.359M $11.297M
Change Down 23.0% Down 54.7%

About the New Mobile Mississippi Sports Betting Bill

The push to bring more convenient wagering options to The Magnolia State received renewed life when a new gambling bill proposed mobile sports betting in Mississippi.

House Bill 606 passed the state House on Feb. 9 and has been referred to the committee phase in the state Senate.

Currently, there is no true mobile sports betting in Mississippi. A couple of the state’s casinos allow online sports wagering but only on their property, such as the casino floor or in their hotel rooms.

Many other states with a competitive online sports betting market have seen their handle increase dramatically compared to when they only allowed retail, in-person betting at casinos.

For instance, neighboring Louisiana launched retail sports betting in November 2021 and in December that year had $39.5 million in handle. Legal, regulated gambling on mobile, laptop or desktop devices was allowed in Louisiana as of Jan. 28, 2022. In February, the first full month of mobile wagering, the state took more than $238.4 million in bets. Louisiana ended 2022 with a sports betting handle of just over $2.3 billion and revenue of $189 million. By comparison, Mississippi had $531.95 million in sports betting handle for 2022 and revenue of $60.8 million.

Louisiana has two major professional sports teams and a larger population than Mississippi, 4.7 million compared to about 3 million, so it’s unlikely Mississippi would match Louisiana’s handle and revenue numbers if the former state adopted mobile sports betting as the latter did. However, it’s fair to project the margin between the two would become much smaller if the latest Mississippi mobile sports betting proposal becomes law.

Casinos Dip Slightly To Start 2023

Mississippi casinos also experienced a decline for the first month of 2023 in slot machines and table games, but not as dramatic as the decrease in sports betting, according to figures from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

The slots drop, or handle, for January statewide was $2.162 billion, down 3.5% from the $2.241 billion in the December Mississippi casino revenue report. The revenue, or win, for slots last month was $169.094 million, a 4.2% decline from $176.569 million in December.

The revenue for table games in Mississippi fell 4.4%, from $29.553 million in December to $28.249 million. The amount wagered at table games in January was $165.170 million, down 2.3% from December’s $169.047 million.

MGC Chairman Hopkins Dies

Al Hopkins, the chair of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, died on Feb. 12 at the age of 81, the Associated Press reported.

Hopkins had been the head of the MGC since 2015.

“The Mississippi Gaming Commission family is saddened by the passing of Chairman Hopkins, and was honored to have him lead this agency the past eight years,” Executive Director Jay McDaniel said in a statement, according to AP.



Jim Tomlin
Contributing Editor

Jim Tomlin has 30-plus years of experience writing and editing stories about sports, gambling and the intersection of those two industries. He has worked at the Tampa Bay Times, FanRag, Saturday Down South and Saturday Tradition and now lends his expertise to BetMississippi.com, among other sites.