Mississippi June Sports Betting Handle Up As Casinos Reopen

Mississippi June Sports Betting Handle Up As Casinos Reopen

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

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

The revenue loss is a function of bettors wagering wisely. But the handle numbers are another story.

Mississippi Sports Betting Handle, June vs. May

June MayChange
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 place online sports bets inside one of the state’s 26 commercial casinos (13 land-based and 13 riverboat casinos). That in-person requirement – rather than allowing residents and in-state visitors to bet online from anywhere they choose – bit Mississippi hard when all physical casinos shuttered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The casinos were closed statewide on March 16 and remained closed throughout April and much of May, so no gambling money came in for Mississippi.

How Limited Options Hold Mississippi Back

Every state is experiencing a dip in sports betting handle with major sports leagues sidelined for more than four months. But states with healthy online options have been able to mitigate the financial damage.

For example, New Jersey reported $165,014,553 of sports betting handle in June, down about 40% from June 2019 ($273.2 million). That’s a significant drop, but nowhere near the fall of about 90% that the Magnolia State experienced in year-over-year June comparisons. And that’s because New Jersey, alongside states such as Pennsylvania, Indiana and Iowa, have robust mobile sports betting options.

Mississippi Year-Over-Year Sports Betting Handle

June ’20June ‘19Change
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, since Mississippi casinos started reopening on May 21, the average spending per day has gone way up. In May, with not all casinos reopened yet, the sports betting handle worked out to a bit less than $20,000 daily average. In June, that figure rose to $52,529 per day.

Mississippi Gaming Regaining Momentum

With casinos reopening, Mississippi is seeing revenue from slot machines and table games bounce back, albeit not quite to 2019 levels.

The state’s slots drop was $1.7 billion in June, up 158% from May 2020 ($658.8 million) and down 10.2% from June 2019 ($1.893 billion). For table games, Mississippi had $135.7 million drop in June, up 198.2% from May 2020 ($45.5 million) and down 10.2% from June 2019 ($151.1 million).

The fact that handle numbers for slots and table games in June were only 10% off of last year, at a time when casinos are operating at partial capacity to comply with safety measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus, can be construed as a positive for Mississippi.