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High hold helps MS betting revenue double in December


A 14.04% win percentage saw Mississippi’s sports betting revenue more than double year-on-year in December 2020. 

Amounts wagered were up 12.7% from December 2019 at $55.3m, though casinos’ hold rate jumped from 7.09% in the prior year to 14.04%, according to the Mississippi Gaming Commission figures. 

This significantly increased operators’ revenue, which increased from $3.5m in December 2019, to $7.8m – a 123.1% improvement. 

Compared to November 2020, handle was up marginally, rising 1.6%, though November’s win percentage of 14.89% surpassed December’s rate, meaning revenue actually fell 4.3% month-over-month. 

The state’s coastal casinos remained the main driver of staking and revenue, accounting for $37.6m of amounts wagered, and $4.9m of total revenue. 

Football was the most popular sport at the coastal properties, with customers staking $19.7m and casinos left with revenue of $2.5m after winnings. Basketball followed with handle of $10.2m, though parlay cards – thanks to a 28.40% win percentage – generated higher revenue of $847,981. 

Casinos in central Mississippi followed, with customers wagering $8.9m, from which the operators generated revenue of $1.7m. For these venues, parlay cards accounted for the majority of handle, at $4.2m, and revenue, at $1.4m. 

Basketball was the sport of choice for central casino customers, with players staking $2.3m, putting it marginally ahead of basketball. However, a particularly low win percentage of 4.01% meant this accounted for just $93,290 of the region’s revenue. 

The northern casinos, meanwhile, reported handle of $8.8m, which left revenue of $1.2m after customer winnings. 

As with the coastal casinos, football was the most popular sport. Customers staked $5.0m, resulting in revenue of $619,234. basketball followed in second, on stakes of $2.6m, for revenue of $330,319.

While Mississippi has only permitted in-person betting at its casinos since the market opened in August 2018, lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would legalize online wagering. 

Senate Bill 2396, introduced by Senator Scott DeLano, would permit land-based licensees to launch an online offering. It currently sits with the Senate Committee on Gaming.