The end of NFL season meant the end of a hot streak for Mississippi sports betting operators.
In February, sportsbooks in the Magnolia State reported a handle of $39,807,504 combined at the state’s two dozen-plus casinos. That was a decline of 30.4% in the amount wagered from $57.22 million in January.
That followed a national trend for the second month of the year, largely because that’s when NFL season ends. The Super Bowl is the biggest single sports betting event in America; however, that one game cannot make up for the sheer volume of games – and wagers – that happen in January and earlier in winter.
Even in a year-over-year comparison, February’s figure was down 2.6% from the $40.87 million in February 2022.
February also broke a streak of four consecutive months with handles of more than $50 million in Mississippi, including back-to-back months over the $70 million barrier in November and December.
Mississippi Sports Betting, February vs. January
Mississippi Sportsbook Revenue Breakdown
The sports betting revenue last month declined even more steeply, to $3,143,541. That was a 38.6% decline from the January Mississippi casino revenue figure of $5,117,380.
However, last month’s total was a 66.5% increase from the $1.888 million recorded 12 months earlier.
The state’s Coastal region casinos combined for $1.71 million in revenue for February. Central casinos had about $1.07 million in total revenue and Northern casinos accounted for nearly $360,000.
Mobile Sports Betting Proposal in Legislature
A bill that would start the process of giving Mississippi a true mobile sports wagering market is making its way through the state legislature.
House Bill 606 – which would not legalize mobile sports betting, but would instead form a task force to study doing so – passed the House 109-5 on March 7. The Senate passed an amended version and the House concurred to the amendment on March 21.
The bill now needs the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves.
The next steps, assuming the bill is signed, would be for the task force to be formed and begin the job of studying sports betting then crafting recommendations. Sports betting on laptops, desktop computers and mobile phones is by far the preferred option in every state that offers the option.
The task force would submit a report by October; mobile sports betting itself would not launch until probably 2024, assuming that proposal also passes.
Mississippi Casino Numbers Mixed
The slot machines at the state’s casinos rose in revenue, known as win, for February despite a decline in handle. The slots win at Mississippi casinos was $174.658 million, up 3.3% from January ($169.094 million).
The amount wagered, known as the drop, declined 0.5% from January’s $2.162 billion to February’s $2.151 billion.
As for table games, again the story was the same, with revenue rising and the amount bet falling.
The table games drop was $152.713 million, down 7.5% from January ($165.170 million); the hold, or amount won by the casinos, rose 8.2% from $28.249 million the previous month to $30.571 million in February.
Also, the Hattiesburg American reported that the Bok Homa Casino in Jones County is expanding, including an addition to its retail sports betting area. In Mississippi, mobile sports wagers can only be placed by people physically inside a couple of casinos or on their property, such as from a casino hotel room.