The Mississippi Gambling Commission reported that the state ended 2020 on a positive note, with a small increase of its sports betting handle in December.
Revenue Increased Year on Year
Mississippi’s sports betting handle slightly increased in December compared to the month before, closing a difficult year on a good note. The state reported $55.3 million in bets for December, up 1.6% from November, at $54.4 million, and 12.7% year on year, with $49 million in December 2019.
However, sports betting revenue dropped by 4.3% last month, at $7.76 million, against $8.1 million in November, but remains significantly higher compared to last year’s results for December, at $3.4 million.
According to the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s results published Tuesday, coastal region casinos reported a $37.6 million sports betting handle for last month, while central region gaming properties and Northern casinos reported $8.9 million and $8.8 million, respectively.
In total for 2020, Mississippi gaming facilities reported a sports betting handle of nearly $364 million, a $5 million drop from 2019, which stood at $369 million.
Last year’s sports wagering revenue almost reached $44 million, just a bit short of 2019’s $44.5 million. Additionally, the state’s gross gaming revenue totaled $1.795 billion in 2020, a $400 million decline compared to 2019, which generated $2.2 billion.
Mobile Sports Betting in Mississippi?
Mississippi players are currently not authorized to place online wagers via their phone or computer, but can bet if they are physically located at one of the state’s gaming properties.
Republican State Senator Scott DeLano filed Senate Bill 2396, another attempt from the state politicians to legalize online wagering.
Three bills to expand sports wagering in Mississippi failed to gain traction in 2019. Although, with lockdown last year due to the pandemic, and gaming locations facing a potential second lockdown in 2021, there is an urgency to bring the state into sports wagering for casinos to perform well.
DeLano’s legislation could be voted on and approved by the end of this year’s legislative session ending on July 1.