Mississippi Looking To Make Mobile Wagering Available State Wide

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A pair of bills were filed in Mississippi that if passed would legalize mobile/online sports wagering which is not permitted under the current laws. Sports betting launched in the state back in August 2018 but the lack of mobile wagering has hindered the overall handle.

Bills Under Consideration by House Gaming Committee

House Bill 172 which was filed by state Rep Cedric Burnett who is a Democrat from Tunica, seeks to allow any licensed operators in Mississippi to launch an online/mobile platform. According to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, there are 24 licensed casino operators in the state. Mobile wagering would be taxed at a rate of 6% on gross revenue while brick and mortar sportsbooks would be 8%.

The current Mississippi sports betting market which launched back in August 2018 has done relatively well but it's clear that the lack of mobile wagering has hurt the overall handle. The one thing that has saved Mississippi is the fact that none of the bordering states that launched their sports betting market offer mobile wagering either. Tennessee is expected to have mobile wagering but has yet to launch.

Mississippi Enjoys Geographical Advantage

If you live in SEC country and you're looking to make a legal sports wager on your favorite team, Mississippi is the only state in the region where you can get it done. In 2019, the eight casinos in Biloxi Mississippi reported $903 million in gross gaming revenue. That's an increase of $50 million from the previous year. That helped bring in $108 million in local taxes to the state.

Obviously people in this part of the country aren't only betting on SEC events and the Super Bowl provided the perfect example of the potential here. According to reports, approximately $67 million in bets were made on the Super Bowl in Mississippi casinos. That is according to Allen Godfrey, the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. With March Madness right around the corner, it should be an especially busy month for local casinos considering how many teams not only from the SEC, but the southeast in general will be participating.

Mobile Wagering Would Be the Next Logical Step

The numbers coming out of New Jersey can't be ignored in regards to mobile wagering. In the Garden State, over 85% of wagers are made via mobile/online which is directly linked to the fact that they now regularly challenge Nevada for top monthly handle. Let's be clear about one thing, even with mobile wagering, Mississippi will never challenge Nevada for top handle. New Jersey has over 3 times Mississippi's population so we're talking about two completely different markets. That being said, in order for Mississippi to maximize the potential of their overall handle, mobile wagering will be crucial.

We mentioned their geographical advantage earlier and mobile wagering is the best way to fully capitalize on that. Mississippi shares a border with Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee (they have legalized but have yet to launch). If the state plays their cards right and allows for mobile wagering, they could set themselves up for a virtual monopoly in the southeastern United States. The ability of those in bordering states to simply register online and place their bets as long as they are physically present in the state is crucial. This is the next step needed for Mississippi to finally reach its full potential as a legal sports betting market.

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