With little available to bet on and the sports betting cycle entering its down period, Mississippi sportsbooks had a down — but not unexpected — month in May. According to the latest report from the state’s gaming commission, handle across the state was $17.4 mm in May, down from $19.19 mm in April.
Bettors won more often in May, as well, resulting in a hold of 6.8%, and taxable revenue of $1.2 mm, less than half of April’s $2.6 mm on an 11% hold. Mississippi uses an accrual system like Nevada does, and futures bets are held out of the total.
Despite the NBA playoffs going on in May, baseball’s handle was higher, likely due in part to the college baseball playoffs. The south embraces college baseball in a way that other parts of the country don’t, and Mississippi sports bettors had multiple teams to follow through the postseason, including hometown favorite Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn. Mississippi State is still alive in the College World Series, and could be in the championship series this weekend.
Baseball is leader in handle
Baseball handle was $8.2 mm across the state, with taxable revenue of $362,137. Basketball was second with handle of $5.75 mm, following by $2.28 mm handle for parlay cards, and $1.19 mm for other.
The Greatest Show on Dirt is in full swing this week in Omaha. Can the College World Series gain steam as sports betting becomes more popular? Is it the game that MLB traditionalists miss? Perspectives from @lindetrain and @SamENole.https://t.co/kltlGvPDl1
— RotoGrinders Sports Betting (@RGSportsBetting) June 18, 2019
Mississippi is one of a handful of states that allows sports betting on any college team, even if it is based in the state.
The bulk of Mississippi’s sportsbooks are located along the Gulf Coast, and those sportsbooks continued to be the leaders in terms of handle, accounting for $10.98 mm of the bets.
Mississippi sports betting is limited to in-person at casinos, though according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, some sportsbooks will be testing on-site mobile this summer. But without statewide mobile, Mississippi sportsbooks are doing only a fraction of the business they could be. State lawmakers considered several mobile sports betting options earlier this year, but none succeeded.
Of the seven states currently accepting legal sports bets, only New Jersey and Pennsylvania offer statewide mobile sports betting. Pennsylvania launched its first mobile app in late May and that month’s revenue report already showed a meaningful bump with just one sportsbook offering a mobile app. Play SugarHouse took in $570k in bets in just three days.
A better indicator is New Jersey, which has offered sports betting on mobile apps and over the internet since the state launched sports betting last June. According to reports from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, mobile wagering accounts for more than 82% of the handle.