Sports betting in Mississippi nears first-year anniversary

Sports betting in Mississippi nears first-year anniversary
Local casino executives say sports gaming has been a home run for the industry in Mississippi. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Coast casino executives say sports gaming has been a home run for the industry in Mississippi. This week marks the one-year anniversary for sports betting in the state.

"I think the first year has absolutely been over the top,” said Chett Harrison, Golden Nugget Casino vice president and general manager. “We knew college football would be big, especially in the SEC. It far exceeded our expectation times 10.”

Then there’s NFL football, another local variable that helped get sports betting off to a running start.

"One thing about this area that a lot of people didn't understand is that these were seasoned sports betters already, so there was no learning curve like when casinos first came here,” Harrison added.

They knew, and now they know that they can place bets on just about any sport at any local casino.

"The parlay piece has been very big for us, especially during football season, where you can do multi-sports parlay,” he said.

And that’s added up to nearly $96 million in revenue so far this year.

“I think everyone’s done a great job in putting together a high-quality product,” said Keith Crosby, Palace Casino and Resort general manager. “Initially, we looked at it as just an additional gaming activity, and it’s really not. These are a different group of people interested in a different sort of thing. The room will fill with people who are here to enjoy the game, make a bet, have dinner, and spend a couple of hours relaxing."

Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.