Million Dollar Babies: Handle At Mississippi Sportsbooks Reaches Seven Figures In June

Posted on July 16, 2020

What was once commonplace for Mississippi sportsbooks is now cause for celebration. For the first time since March, handle at all of the state’s casino sportsbooks crossed the seven-figure mark.

The over $1.57 million in handle may be a shadow of its former self, but it suggests Mississippi residents and visitors are undeterred by casino restrictions and a relative lack of North American sporting events. That should make operators optimistic about this month and the future.

Breaking down June’s number from Mississippi sportsbooks

Total handle from the state’s three casino regions last month came to $1,575,858.84. Despite an increase in handle of nearly 85% as compared to May, Mississippi sportsbooks showed a net loss of over¬†$62,000 in June.

The northern region, consisting of the Tunica books, was responsible for most of that loss. Those books lost over $114,000 in the month, or nearly 128% of the handle they saw.

Coastal casinos in and around Biloxi fared better, sporting win of 3.05% for the month. The central casinos were the real champ, however, with win of almost 9.5%.

The factor seemingly most responsible for the discrepancy in win was basketball wagering. While the coastal and northern regions combined to lose over $478,000 on those bets, central sportsbooks made over $6,500 on hoops wagers.

Still, whether these numbers are good depends on the lens one views them with. While getting back to a seven-figure handle total is good news, it’s a shoddy figure in a year-over-year comparison.

In June 2019, the same books took in over $15.2 million in bets. Additionally, with about 15% of the handle, win for May 2020 was up over $87,000, representing a huge negative discrepancy of almost $150,000 month-over-month.

Showing a net loss for a month isn’t a game-changer for sportsbooks, however. As a matter of fact, circumstances could prove much more lucrative for Mississippi sportsbooks soon.

Christmas in July for sportsbooks

The end of this month, and heading into August, promises to be a potential boon for North American sporting events. Before the calendar turns to August, all of the following could be happening simultaneously:

  • MLB regular-season games
  • MLS is Back tournament matches
  • NASCAR races
  • NBA Playoffs
  • NHL Playoffs
  • NWSL Challenge Cup matches
  • PGA events
  • UFC bouts
  • WNBA regular-season games

Suffice it to say, there will be plenty of fodder for Mississippi sportsbooks to market themselves around if everything goes well. They will likely do so hard and heavy for as long as circumstances remain optimal, as the circumstances around these sporting events remain fluid.

For the state’s sportsbooks, there’s no telling what tomorrow will bring. June saw handle break the million-dollar barrier, and July promises even more if things go according to plan.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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