Mississippi Sports Betting Handle Up In June As Casinos Reopen

June saw sports betting activity gradually return compared to May for Mississippi sportsbooks, but the numbers are still far off the pace set in 2019 in a state without a real mobile sports betting option.

The sports betting handle of Mississippi was $1,575,859 in June, up 566.3 percent from May 2020, when the state’s handle was $236,503 as casinos worked only part of the month. Yet that figure in June was down 89.6 percent from June 2019 ($15,190,666), according to figures reported by the Gaming Commission of Mississippi. The revenue image was worse: in June the State lost $62,231 on sports betting; in May it made $87,697 and in June 2019 it made $1,625,113.

Profit loss is a feature of wagering bettors wisely. However the numbers on the handle are another matter.

Mississippi Sports Betting Handle, June vs. May

June May Change
Central Casinos $263K $23K +1043%
Coastal Casinos $898K $145K +519.3%
Northern Casinos $414K $68K +508.8%
Total $1.576M $236.5K +566.3%

Bettors in Mississippi can only put online sports bets within one of the 26 commercial casinos (13 land based and 13 riverboat casinos) in the state. That requirement in person – instead of allowing residents and in-state tourists to bet online from wherever they choose – struck Mississippi hard when all physical casinos shuttered in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. On March 16, the casinos were federally closed and stayed closed throughout April and most of May because there was no gaming money coming in for Mississippi.

Every state experiences a fall in the handle of sports betting with major sports leagues suspended for more than four months. Yet states with healthier options online could minimise the financial harm.

For example, New Jersey registered sports betting handle $165,014,553 in June, down about 40 percent from June 2019 ($273.2 million). That’s a big decline, but nowhere near the fall of about 90 percent witnessed by the Magnolia State in June comparisons year-over-year. And that’s because New Jersey has strong mobile sports betting options alongside states such as Ohio, Indiana and Iowa.

Mississippi Year-Over-Year Sports Betting Handle

June ’20 June ‘19 Change
Central Casinos $263K $1.880M -86%
Coastal Casinos $898K $8.992M -90%
Northern Casinos $414K $4.319M -90.4%
Total $1.576M $15.190M -89.6%

The good news was that after the reopening of Mississippi casinos on May 21, the average daily income has gone up considerably. With not all casinos having reopened in May, the sports betting handle worked out to a daily average of just under $20,000. The amount had risen to $52,529 a day in June.

With the reopening of casinos, Mississippi is seeing revenue bouncing back from slot machines and table games, but not yet to 2019 rates.

The slots decline for the state in June was $1.7 billion , up 158 percent from May 2020 ($658.8 million) and down 10.2 percent from June 2019 ($1.893 billion). Mississippi has had a decrease of $135.7 million for table games in June, up 198.2 percent from May 2020 ($45.5 million) and down 10.2 percent from June 2019 ($151.1 million).

It can be taken as good for Mississippi that handling numbers for slots and table games in June was just 10 percent off last year, at a time when casinos are running at reduced capacity to comply with health measures designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.