Mississippi Sportsbooks Start Year With Revenue Rise, Handle Dip

Mississippi Sportsbooks Start Year With Revenue Rise, Handle Dip
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

The new calendar year began with mixed results for Mississippi sports betting operators.

In January the statewide sports betting handle, or amount wagered, dropped compared to December. Folks in the Magnolia State bet $44,631,975 for the first month of 2024, which was down 8.7% from December’s total of $48,888,089.

However, the revenue painted a different picture. That figure rose 36.5% in a month-over-month comparison with December, from $4,886,771 in the final month of 2023 to $6,670,920. That revenue number was also about $1.5 million better than January 2023 in a year-over-year comparison.

The fall in handle from December to January is no great surprise in a state where SEC football and the NFL are the biggest things going for most sports fans. There are far fewer NFL games to bet on in January, albeit bigger ones. And college football is over by January except for a handful of bowl games including the College Football Playoff national title game.

Mississippi Sports Betting, January vs. December

Betting handle Revenue
January $44.632M $6.671M
December $48.888M $4.887M
Change Down 8.7% Up 36.5%

Limitations of Mississippi Sports Betting

There is no true mobile sports wagering market in the state. People can use their phones to place bets, but there is a big catch: They must do so from inside physical casinos. This differs from the 29 states (plus Washington D.C.) offering online sports betting that people can access from anywhere inside those states by using a mobile, laptop or desktop device.

Three states bordering Mississippi offer online sports betting – Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. In addition, Florida has a sole provider for mobile wagering (from the Hard Rock Bet brand) and North Carolina has made online sports betting legal, with a launch set for March 11.

The market is especially robust in Louisiana (more than $2.9 billion in handle for 2023) and Tennessee ($4.286 billion handle). Those states have larger populations than Mississippi, but even if you calculate per capita, those numbers greatly overshadow the $474.275 million in handle that Mississippi had last year. Those nearby options also help explain why the Magnolia State had a 10.8% drop in handle in 2023, while Louisiana and Tennessee saw double-digit increases in handle percentage.

Mississippi Casino Revenue Breakdown

January figures for table games and slot machines at riverboat casinos also declined from the Mississippi December revenue report.

The handle, or coin in, from Mississippi slots added up to $1.918 billion in January, a 16.9% decrease from December’s $2.309 billion. The revenue from those machines also declined 21.3%, from $181.947 million in December to $143.172 million.

As for table games, the handle (or drop) in January was $152.376 million, down 7.7% from December ($165.042 million). Table games revenue decreased 10.5%, from $29.777 million in the final month of 2023 to $26.641 million in January.



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.