Mississippi sportsbooks took the least amount of bets in June since last August, the first month of legal sports betting in the state. According to the June report from the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Magnolia State sportsbooks wrote $15.19 mm in bets, which resulted in $1.63 mm in taxable revenue for June, traditionally one of the slowest months of the year.
Baseball led all sports with $9.2 mm handle, followed by basketball at $2.53 mm, parlay cards at $2.05 mm, “other” at $1.36 mm, and football at $52,307. The overall hold was 10.7%, up significantly from May’s hold of 6.84%. The state has had a double-digit hold in four of the first six months of 2019.
Mississippi has no professional sports teams, and though the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup were wrapping up in June, no teams in the region were participating. There are no Major League Baseball teams in any of Mississippi’s border states, either, so the state relies mostly on college sports to drive handle.
No mobile still a limiting factor
Unlike Delaware and New Jersey, which use cash accounting systems, where futures bets are included in handle, Mississippi is using an accrual system like Nevada does, and futures bets are held out of the total.
Like Delaware, Mississippi only offers sports betting at physical locations, though several properties were planning to test on-site mobile options over the summer. But the lack of statewide mobile, which died during the legislative session, is definitely limiting Mississippi’s potential.
Just this week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released its June numbers and with only one mobile sportsbook online for the entire month, mobile handle accounted for 41% of the state’s total handle. In New Jersey, that number has tipped 80% during multiple months.
In June, New Jersey's #SportsBetting handle dipped below $300m for the first time in over seven months.
— US Bets (@US_Bets) July 15, 2019
In the last month, neighboring Arkansas launched sports betting at its Oaklawn Racing Casino resort in Hot Springs, but given the lack of proximity to Mississippi’s population centers, it’s unlikely Oaklawn drew much business away from Mississippi, which remains the only other state in the region with live, legal sports betting. Northern neighbor Tennessee legalized earlier this summer and sometime next year should offer online/mobile sports betting, which could draw business from Mississippi.