It’s only February but Mississippi is heating up and Tennessee could be in the cold.
This week, the Mississippi Gaming Commission approved Eldorado Resort‘s acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Corp.
The acquisition still requires approval from the Federal Trade Commission and more than a dozen states. However, the general sentiment is the deal will go through.
And when it does, Mississippi’s two Caesars casinos should be leaner and more profitable.
Bloomberg reported this week that Eldorado CEO Tom Reeg‘s plan is to “create a leaner casino operator that’s focused on the core gambling business.”
Tennessee’s concern: Mississippi will continue to reign
As a state without any casino gambling, Tennessee has never been much competition for Mississippi casinos. However, this past year the Volunteer State legalized online sports betting.
Unfortunately, legislators have yet to agree on a formalized set of regulations for sports betting. And, the latest word from Nashville is that online/mobile betting is still months away.
Brand expansion means more potential TN customers
Tennessee’s slow roll on sports betting stands in stark contrast to Mississippi’s action. The Magnolia state quickly passed a retail-only sports betting bill after the PASPA repeal. The first brick and mortar sportsbooks opened up shop in August 2019.
Now, Mississippi lawmakers are mulling a bill to expand wagering online. If the state allows online betting, the likelihood of bettors traveling to TN would shrink substantially.
With the acquisition, the number of casinos under the Caesars and Eldorado banner stands at four. In addition to Horseshoe Tunica and Harrah’s Biloxi, there are also Trop Greenville and Isle of Capri Casino in Lula, MS.
The Eldorado properties are not as proximate to the Tennessee state line as Horseshoe Tunica, but they do provide additional options for Tennessee gamblers willing to drive a little to get to a casino.
More importantly, when the company goes into Tennessee with an online sportsbook, it will have an even larger database of potential customers when the Eldorado properties are factored in.
With no casinos or racetracks within Tennessee to draw from, Caesars and Eldorado will be in a good position to bank on customer databases of the numerous casinos surrounding the state.