Mississippi November Handle Increases, Profits Stagnate

Mississippi’s Ailing Sports Betting Revenue: Holiday Blues?

Mississippi’s sports handle has seemed to remain largely intact, although revenue fell again in November, similar to the October dip. While operators across the U.S. have been able to rake insignificant results, the state has struggled to amass a competitive amount, maintaining a modest increase in revenue.

Out of the $45 million wagered, the bookies ended up with just $1.6 million as profits (3.76% of the total). Not a great amount by any stretch. And yet, the handle did increase compared to October, adding an additional $12 million to the amount wagered in Magnolia State.

Understandably, Mississippi isn’t the state where the activity is at its highest. Compared to the handles of places such as New Jersey and Nevada, Mississippi is a bit of a laggard, but that’s hardly its fault.

Nevada and New Jersey have had very pro-gambling lawmakers and local supporters, running various online gaming operations even before PASPA was defeated in May 2018.

In the case of New Jersey, November brought the state $330 million in total handle and $21.2 million in profit. The results from a month before that, in October, were also very good, with $11.7 million in revenue out of $260 million wagered overall.

New Jersey has grown its revenue significantly, indicating that operators have been adjusting their wagers properly and providing competitive, but challenging odds. Meanwhile, the numbers for Mississippi can be broken as follows:

  • American football – $192,689
  • Basketball – $950,990
  • Parlay – $324,309
  • Miscellaneous – $206,263

What stands out here are the profits from NFL and college football, two of the most popular events and competitions in the U.S. With nearly $28 million wagered on the outcome of matches in the season during November, it’s striking that the operators have been only able to rake in less than $200,000 in revenue.

Basketball Brings Home the Bacon in Mississippi

Basketball seems to be a far more favorable segment for the bookmakers, perhaps because the National Basketball Association (NBA) is using data partners to provide abundant odds that Mississippi bookmakers have been able to leverage to their distinct advantage.

Much of the long-term upsets can be chalked up to surprising outcomes in both NFL and college football with the New Orleans Saints beating all expectations.

Meanwhile, casinos have also been posting less than favorable results, with iGaming revenue declining in October & November both. Part of the problem, some estimate, is a saturation of the market, leading bookmakers & casino operators to try and attract customers at the expense of revenue. Not least of all, operators all rushed up to build sports betting facilities around the state, dividing the player base between themselves.

Despite the registered revenue, sports handle has grown, and that only indicates that as far as marketing is concerned, operators in the state have been successful since sports betting was introduced in the state. Just not very profitable yet.

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