For the second time since launching sports betting in August 2018, Mississippi sportsbooks generated a double-digit hold percentage, resulting in $6.17 million in taxable revenue on $41.8 million in handle in December, according to the latest revenue report from the Mississippi Gaming Commission. That handle is up slightly from the $40.9 million the commission reported earlier in January.
Mississippi bettors continued to zero in on football, wagering $22.07 million on football in December, as compared to $27.9 million in November. The Gulf Coast region, home to more than half of the state’s 23 sportsbooks, also continued to dominate the revenue report, with $27.3 million wagered. That number was slightly lower than the $27.7 million November handle. Bettors wagered $9.1 million in the Northern Region, and $5.4 million in the Central Region.
Overall though, there was a huge spike in hold, up to 14.78 percent in December as compared to a low of 3.59 percent in November. The state saw its sportsboos hold 17.3 percent in September.
$11.37M wagered on basketball, but football was king
In New Jersey, handle was down slightly down from the previous month– from $330.7 million in November to $319.2 million in December — and the hold rose slightly, from 6.4 percent to 6.5 percent.
Across Mississippi, bettors wagered $11.37 million on basketball and $6.57 million on parlay cards. The highest hold was 33.34 percent on those parlay, followed by 14.77 percent on football, and 8.61 percent on basketball.
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For revenue reporting purposes, Mississippi uses a modified accrual method, and handle includes futures bets made, while the taxable revenue does not include futures bets, many of which are not yet decided. For example, bets made in December on the Super Bowl or other events outside of the reporting period are included in the handle, but not the taxable revenue.
With that in mind, sportsbooks won’t have to pay out on New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl futures bets, as the team lost in the NFC Championship on Sunday (in controversial fashion). In fact, Mississippi sportsbooks likely let out a collective sigh of relief when the Los Angeles Rams kicked a 57-yard field goal to advance to the Super Bowl, as both the Under hit, the Rams covered the spread and obviously won straight up.
It’s likely that Mississippi, like all other states with sports betting, will see a decline in handle in January, with the NFL season all but complete.
For 2018, Magnolia State sportsbooks grossed $158.5 million in sports betting revenue for gross gaming revenue, or taxable income, of about $15 million. The numbers don’t compare to states like New Jersey or Nevada, as Mississippi bettors according to current regulations cannot wager off-premises online, only in person.