Just like the rest of the states with legal sports betting, Mississippi sportsbooks felt the pain of fewer big events in April, as state-wide handle dropped to $19.19 mm from $32 mm in March, according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s latest revenue report. Across the state, sportsbooks had an average hold of nearly 11 percent, resulting in taxable revenue of $2.58 mm.
Handle was the second lowest since Mississippi launched sports betting in August 2018. That month handle was $9.8 mm with only a handful sportsbooks operating and many for only part of the month. The third lowest was $25 million in February, after the Super Bowl and before March Madness began.
Basketball was king in April with $9.24 million bet, followed by baseball ($5.38 mm), parlay cards ($2.74 mm) and other ($1.18 mm). Coastal sportsbooks also took some football action with the MGC reporting $2,475 bet, a loss of $13,776 in taxable revenue, and a -556.6 percent hold.
MS watching Louisiana progress
Average hold in Mississippi was 10.72 percent, down from 15.11 percent in March. Mississippi uses an accrual system like Nevada does, and futures bets are held out of the total.
Mississippi lawmakers and operators are likely watching closely as neighboring Louisiana considers legalizing sports betting. The Magnolia State got the jump on its neighbor when it launched last August, but still lacks a full-fledged mobile component, though patrons can bet on mobile devices if they are anywhere on a property that has a sportsbook. Lucky for them, Louisiana lawmakers are moving a bill with an even more restrictive “mobile” piece — patrons could use mobile devices only in a sportsbook.
Without mobile, Mississippi’s handle and revenue continue to be only a fraction of what they could be. The state legislature shot down adding a mobile/internet component earlier this year.
Of the eight states that currently offer legal sports betting, only New Jersey offers full-scale mobile without a restrictive in-person requirement, though Pennsylvania appears to be on the cusp of starting to launch mobile sportsbooks. West Virginia had state-wide mobile for a few months earlier this year before a contract dispute shut down Delaware North’s BetLucky.com app.
Mobile sports betting has proven critical to maximizing revenue in New Jersey. According to reports from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, mobile wagering accounts for more than 80 percent of handle, despite the launch of a host of retail sportsbooks in that state.