Mississippi remains on course to be the third state to offer legal sports betting outside of Nevada, despite having missed a target launch that had been planned for last weekend. In an update to press, state commissioner Allen Godfrey explained that several casinos seeking to open up sports betting were still in the process of creating new facilities and ensuring they were legally compliant before opening for business.
Godfrey told Reuters: “Right now, the ones wanting to get started are still in the renovation phase,” adding that it will possibly be another two weeks before a casino is approved to take sports bets. According to the commissioner, 13 of Mississippi’s 28 riverboat and land-based casino properties have applied to offer sports betting. However it’s anticipated that all 28 locations will eventually gain approval.
Mississippi casinos won’t be too concerned about being third in the race behind Delaware and New Jersey to offer sports betting. Geographically, the Magnolia State is perfectly positioned to profit from the activity, with surrounding states showing little or no ambition to launch sportsbooks. The nearest state to show any sign of opening up is West Virginia which is 500 miles away and expects to take its first sports wagers by September 1.
In his exchange with Reuters, Godfrey conceded that sports betting is a ‘pure learning curve’, especially where revenue for the state and its casinos is concerned. But the starting point for taxation has been set at eight per cent by the state and up to four per cent at a local government level.