It’s official — Mississippi loves it some football. The state’s gaming commission released its September sports betting numbers on Monday, and they are sky high. Magnolia State sports bettors wagered $31.77 million and produced $5.5 million in taxable revenue during the first full month of professional and college football. Those numbers dwarf August, which had $644,489 in taxable revenue on a $7.7 million handle.
The handle includes futures bets made, while the taxable revenue does not include futures bets, many of which are not yet decided.
Most notable was the sportsbooks’ win percentage, which was a whopping 17.3 percent. For comparison, that number was 10 percent in August and Nevada traditionally has a 5 to 7 percent hold.
MS Sports Betting Takes Off With Start of Football Season, and Coastal Casinos Account for About Tw0-Thirds of Overall Handle.
Well over half of the September handle — $22.91 million — was for football bets with $16.27 million being bet at the state’s coastal casinos, which are located between the Louisiana border and the Biloxi area.
In the northern part of the state, $4.37 million was wagered on football and in the central region, $2.27 million. The next highest handle was $4.53 million on parlay cards, followed by $3.75 million on baseball.
Interestingly, parlay cards accounted for $1.68 million in handle in the northern part of the state, nearly three times the handle for baseball. At coastal sportsbooks, handle for baseball and parlays cards were neck-and-neck while in the central part of the state, baseball betting dwarfed parlay cards.
Only two sportsbooks were open for the entire August reporting period. Another 18 sportsbooks opened on Aug. 17 or later, including three that opened on the last two days of August. Fitzgerald’s in Tunica opened on Sept. 28, and Magnolia Bluffs in Natchez opened on Oct. 19. The total number of sportsbooks open in Mississippi is now 22.
Mississippi taxes sports betting at 12 percent (8 percent state, 4 percent local), which translates into $660,000 in tax revenue for September — $440,00 to the state and $220,000 to local entities.
Also consider that that number is with no mobile betting — which is permitted on premises but not outside, although no casino has yet to avail itself of the mobile but on premises only option.
With a population of 3 million, Mississippi is about one-third of the size of New Jersey, which reported $79 million in handle for bets made in person in September, as compared to Mississippi’s $31.78 million. That the Magnolia State took in more than a third of New Jersey’s in-person handle is impressive, but the Garden State had a $184 million September handle, including mobile, showing how important the ability to bet online is to the bottom line for both casinos and states.