Mississippi’s sports betting revenue fell sharply in the past month, after the popular National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) basketball tournament was cancelled and the state’s casinos shut from March 16.
Revenue for the month dropped 86.8% year-on-year to $648,646.60 (or 69.2% month-on-month) after the March Madness tournament, which drove customer activity in the prior year, was cancelled as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Amounts wagered declined 66.8% from March 2019, to $10.7m, which also represents a 68.8% fall from February 2020.
This was followed by the shut-down of the state’s casinos from March 16, which due to retail betting being the only legalized option in the state, effectively brought the month to a premature end.
The state’s coastal casinos continue to account for the bulk of activity, with $6.6m wagered at these properties in March, down 64.3% from the prior year. Basketball accounted for $4.8m of customer stakes, as a result of March Madness’s cancellation being announced on 12 March, five days before it was due to start.
However, revenue from the coastal casinos amounted to $254,320.43 (down 90.0%) meaning Mississippi’s central region casinos led the market in terms of revenue generated.
In total, $1.6m was wagered at these properties, down 65.5%, though an especially high hold percentage of 22.91% meant that revenue amounted to $371,887.78. While this represents a 63.3% year-over-year decline, it still beat the coastal casinos’ monthly total.
Basketball again led the way, accounting for $1.2m of stakes, and $193,011.11 of revenue.
The state’s northern casinos, meanwhile, contributed $2.5m in stakes, a 96.0% decline from March 2019, with revenue falling 98.3% to $22,438.39.