‘Enthusiasm Is High’ as Mississippi Sports Betting Preparations UnderwayBy Jill R. Dorson | Published: July 3, 2018 at 5:47 pm
The Mississippi Gaming Commission has received five applications from commercial casinos interested in introducing sports betting, according to executive director Allen Godfrey. The Magnolia State’s gaming regulations go into effect on July 21 and the state has 28 commercial casinos, including many owned by large gaming corporations.
Godfrey said the MGM and Caesar’s properties, as well as The Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi, have made application for sports betting. The expectation is that every commercial casino will follow suit in the coming weeks.
Mississippi rolled out its sports betting regulations on June 21. The gaming commission has sent representatives to both Nevada and New Jersey to see working sportsbooks and add to their base of knowledge.
Mississippi Sports Betting Regulations Go Into Effect July 21, and Operators Are Beginning to Build MS Sportsbooks and Hire and Train Staff.
“It’s been exciting, it’s been busy, and we’re starting to get applications in,” Godfrey said. “Operators are diligently preparing. … It appears that the enthusiasm is high.
“We’ve had staff in Nevada, we’ve had them in New Jersey. We talk constantly with these other agencies and the model we are after is the Nevada model.”
Mississippi has had gambling for more than 25 years, but Godfrey said the “learning curve is straight up,” when it comes to sports betting. Sports betting in Mississippi will be fairly straightforward to start – bets will be limited to those that are more mainstream and mobile betting will not be part of the picture at the outset. So the focus is simply on getting sportsbooks ready for in-casino sports betting.
According to the Biloxi Sun-Herald, the MGM-owned Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi is planning to be ready to accept sports bets on July 21, the first day bets can be taken. The casino is in the midst of building a temporary seven-window sportsbook and hiring and training new staff. The story goes on to say that all 28 of Mississippi’s casinos plan to offer sports betting.
MS Tribal Casinos May Roll Out Sports Betting Ahead of State Regulations.
The state has no control over its tribal gaming properties, and in late May, the Band of Choctaw, owners of the Pearl River and Bok Homa casino resorts, voted to allow sports betting. The initial plan was to roll out sports betting over the summer.
Mississippi’s commercial casinos will be taxed at a 12 percent rate, and like every other state, the state is looking forward to the extra cash flow.
“Anything we get will be more than we get now,” Godfrey said.