Mississippi Casinos Face Revenue Dip

In a surprising turn of events, Mississippi’s casino sector experienced a significant downturn in January 2024, following a period of robust performance. The state’s 26 non-tribal casinos reported a total revenue of $180.3 million, a stark decline from December 2023’s $219.8 million and also falling short of January 2023’s $201.9 million, marking an 18% month-on-month decrease and a 10% drop year-on-year. This downturn was especially noteworthy in the context of the state’s gaming revenue, which, after reaching its second-highest total in 2023, entered the new year on a decidedly cooler note.

The revenue distribution across Mississippi’s casino regions highlighted a significant disparity, with the Central region generating $120.9 million, the Coastal region bringing in $23 million, and the Northern region accounting for $36.4 million of the total. This performance is a departure from the state’s usually more robust figures and represents the lowest monthly revenue since February 2021, a fact that underscores the severity of the downturn.

Amidst the general decline, sports betting emerged as a silver lining, showing a remarkable 31.4% increase compared to January 2023, with revenue reaching $6.7 million. This was despite a decrease in the total betting handle, which fell to $44.6 million from December’s $48.9 million and was down 22% from the same month last year. Notably, the Coastal casinos remained a hotbed for bettors, with $29.1 million wagered at retail sportsbooks in this region alone, generating $4.0 million in revenue. Football betting, particularly on American football, was a significant contributor to this success.

Mississippi Casinos Face Revenue Dip

Mississippi Casinos Face Revenue Dip

The legislative landscape for sports betting in Mississippi is also witnessing potential shifts, with the state House recently passing House Bill 774, which aims to introduce online sports betting. This move signals a significant step towards expanding the state’s gambling offerings, with the bill now advancing to a Senate committee for further deliberation. If passed, it would allow all 26 land-based casinos in Mississippi to launch online sports betting platforms, significantly altering the state’s gambling ecosystem.

This juxtaposition of declining casino revenues with the burgeoning success of sports betting and the legislative push for online betting platforms points to a period of transition for Mississippi’s gambling industry. While traditional casino revenues face challenges, the growth in sports betting and the potential for online gambling expansion suggest a diversifying landscape. The state’s gambling sector appears to be at a crossroads, with the future direction likely influenced by legislative outcomes and the evolving preferences of bettors.

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Elina Blagoeva is a member of the Mr. Sweepstakes editorial team. She studied Multimedia and Creative Technologies at the KdG University of Applied Science and Arts in Antwerpen, Belgium.

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