Mississippi sportsbooks reported $40.9 million in handle for December and record-high gross gaming revenue of $5.9 million, according to an early report from the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Though handle was down from November’s $44.5 million, sportsbooks had a hold of approximately 14.4 percent, producing that much taxable revenue. In November, the state-licensed sportsbooks had a win percentage of just 3.76 percent.
For comparison, Mississippi sportsbooks had a hold of 17.3 percent in September, resulting in $5.5 million in taxable income on a handle of $31.8 million.
For the year ending Dec. 31, Mississippi’s year-to-date handle is $157.6 million, and the 2018 GGR is $14.8 million. Mississippi launched sports betting in August with just a handful of sportsbooks, but by the end of the year 23 commercial sportsbooks had opened across the state.
Full report expected Jan. 20
The gaming commission releases a full report on the 20th of every month, but the early numbers show that the Gulf Coast, with its heavy concentration of sportsbooks, continued to lead the state, taking $26.9 million in sports bets. In November, Gulf Coast sportsbooks had a handle of $27.7 million, but all three regions saw a dip. The northern region took in $8.7 million in sports bets in December, as compared to $10.4 million in November, while the central region took $5.3, as compared to $6.4 million in November.
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.
Note that mobile /online sports betting is not legal in Mississippi, so the state’s numbers reflect bets placed only at brick-and-mortar locations throughout the state. Bettors can use mobile devices for betting, but only on a casino property.
Some Mississippi lawmakers have indicated an intention to try pass a measure modifying this on-premises limitation and open up sports wagering online, statewide, as most of the northeastern states to legalize have already done, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.