DraftKings Set to Open Retail Sportsbook In Mississippi This Week

The post DraftKings Set to Open Retail Sportsbook In Mississippi This Week appeared first on SportsHandle.

DraftKings and the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Miss. announced a partnership on Monday that will put DraftKings in charge of the casino’s retail sportsbook.

Once live, this will mark two firsts for the Boston-headquartered company: its first retail sportsbook and its official foray into a second state after New Jersey, where DraftKings operates under a license with Resorts Casino and so far has led the competition among NJ online sportsbooks — by a couple laps — in terms of handle and gross revenue.

“Opening Nov. 16, 2018, the sportsbook will transform Scarlet Pearl’s existing PRL Bar into a multi-screen betting and social destination for sports lovers,” reads Monday’s joint news release.


Read more DraftKings Set to Open Retail Sportsbook In Mississippi This Week on SportsHandle.

Football Is King: MS September Sports Betting Handle Reaches $31.77 Million

It’s official — Mississippi loves it some football. The state’s gaming commission released its September sports betting numbers on Monday, and they are sky high. Magnolia State sports bettors wagered $31.77 million and produced $5.5 million in taxable revenue during the first full month of professional and college football. Those numbers dwarf August, which had $644,489 in taxable revenue on a $7.7 million handle.

The handle includes futures bets made, while the taxable revenue does not include futures bets, many of which are not yet decided.

Most notable was the state’s win percentage, which was a whopping 17.3 percent. For comparison, that number was 10 percent in August and Nevada traditionally has a 5 to 7 percent hold.


Read more Football Is King: MS September Sports Betting Handle Reaches $31.77 Million on SportsHandle.

MS Sportsbooks Take in $6.2M in Handle In August And Much Bigger Numbers Ahead

The post MS Sportsbooks Take in $6.2M in Handle In August And Much Bigger Numbers Ahead appeared first on SportsHandle.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission on Thursday released its official report for the first full month of sports betting, and the state took in $6,269,629 in handle with gross taxable revenue of $644,489. The handle includes futures bets made, while the taxable revenue does not include futures bets, many of which are not yet decided.

Mississippi’s coastal casinos, which include sportsbooks from Bay St. Louis to the Biloxi area, took in the most amount of bets, with $4,363,799, while the most bets were made on baseball, followed by football and parlay cards. The report runs from Aug. 1-31, and does not include the figures through Labor Day weekend.

In terms of breakdown, Mississippi sportsbooks took $3,004,579 bets on baseball, $1,328,578 on football and $1,314,315 on sports parlay cards. There were also about $100,000 worth of basketball bets made. Expect football to be king in September – when you add in the first weekend of college football games, the handle was $9.8 million through Sept. 3, which means state sportsbooks took in about $3.5 million in bets over the Labor Day weekend.

Read more MS Sportsbooks Take in $6.2M in Handle In August And Much Bigger Numbers Ahead on SportsHandle.

Mississippi Sportsbooks Generate $9.8 Million Handle In First Month of Sports Betting

Licensed Mississippi sportsbooks generated $9.8 million in total handle during the state’s first full month of sports betting, Aug. 1-Sept. 3, according to Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director Allen Godfrey.

Following Delaware and New Jersey, the Magnolia State became the third to have properties accept legal wagers since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down in May. PASPA had banned every state but Nevada from allowing full-fledged sports wagering. Delaware’s three sportsbooks took in a  $8.2 million total wagers in its first full month (June 25-July 29) while New Jersey’s four sportsbooks (at the time) produced a handle of $40.6 million for its first full month (July 1-31).

Figures on the hold or respective handle at each property was not available Thursday, nor was tax revenue information, but Mississippi taxes its sportsbooks a total of 12 percent — 8 percent state and 4 percent local — which mirrors every other gaming tax in the state.

20 Sportsbooks Are Now Open for MS Sports Betting, As Magnolia State Reports First Month’s Handle

mississippi sports betting legal betting biloxi beau rivage
The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino(Beautiful Coast) in Biloxi

Both Delaware and New Jersey are using cash accounting systems, where futures bets are included in handle, while Mississippi is using an accrual system, like Nevada does, and futures bets are held out of the total.

Read the full post-Mississippi Sportsbooks Generate $9.8 Million Handle In First Month of Sports Betting on SportsHandle.

More Sports Betting Lounges to Open in Mississippi Friday; SBTech and William Hill Get Approval

The post More Sports Betting Lounges to Open in Mississippi Friday; SBTech and William Hill Get Approval appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports betting facilities are opening in Mississippi just about every day, with a handful more expected on Friday. On Thursday, after a meeting of the Mississippi Gaming Commission in the morning, Allen Godfrey, executive director of the commission, was on his way to check out testing going on at several Penn National Gaming properties in advance of their projected openings Friday.

“It hasn’t been overwhelming, it’s just been really busy,” Godfrey said of the slew of openings. “After the initial newness wears off, well, the fall will tell if it’s worth all of their efforts to have it. It’s been a good process so far.”

Before hitting the road, Godfrey’s board approved SBTech and William Hill as “suitable manufacturers and distributors for platforms” to provide sports betting. The companies join IGT and Scientific Games, both of which are also approved providers. By becoming approved providers, the companies can partner with existing, licensed Mississippi casinos to provide sports betting platforms across the state. William Hill announced earlier this month that is has signed agreements with 11 Mississippi casinos.

To read the rest of the story visit SportsHandle:

More Sports Betting Lounges to Open in Mississippi Friday; SBTech and William Hill Get Approval 

What to Expect From Mississippi’s Golden Nugget Biloxi Sportsbook Launch

The post What to Expect From Mississippi’s Golden Nugget Biloxi Sportsbook Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

Mississippi sports betting is off and running today, Wednesday, in Biloxi on the Gulf Coast and Tunica, as a pair of MGM properties will cut ribbons. Over a dozen casinos are also preparing for launch this month in those regions where casinos and resorts are concentrated.

The Mississippi sports wagering rollout has arrived after regulations went into effect in late June, as the Magnolia State follows New Jersey sports betting rollouts (ongoing). West Virginia sports betting is likely to come next, before football season if things go right.

In an effort to give readers a glimpse behind the curtain and information as to what they can expect when they arrive to put down some sports bets, we spoke to the sportsbook manager Brad Bryant and vice president of marketing and resort operations Scott King of the Golden Nugget Biloxi, which is aiming for a late August launch of its sportsbook.  Also covered here is what sports wagering means for the resort and the state as a whole. (Note: the conversation has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity)

Mississippi Sports Betting Is Officially A Go, as More Biloxi Properties Such as Golden Nugget Prepare Sportsbook and Operations for Launches.


Sports Handle (SH): Brad, what’s your background in gaming and sports wagering?

Brad Bryant (BB): I started in Las Vegas in about 1996 with Station Casinos. I was the sportsbook manager of Boulder and Sunset Station. I was also the director of race, sports, poker, keno at Aladdin, Planet Hollywood. Briefly with … back then it was Brandywine, now it’s William Hill. I oversaw a couple of their sports books, and then the last seven years in New Orleans at the fairgrounds , race course, and slots, and other slot and race track management.

SH:  Can you say roughly when can patrons expect an opening?

Scott King (SK):  We’re targeting as early as August 20th. Our goal is to get it open before Labor Day weekend, the weekend before, just so we can get in the mix. We’re working lock step with the gaming commission, just like anyone else. There’s nothing on our end that’s behind and our renovation is underway.

We have an existing sports bar that we’ve actually expanded and renovated. That should be done in the second week of August. All of our equipment is in order. The Atlantic City Golden Nugget and us are kind of in lock step, too. Our Golden Nugget there are working in tandem on this.

SH:  You mentioned the bar and expansion. What do you expect the physical space will look like upon completion? TVs, number of windows open, perhaps food and drinks available?

SK: We’ve got seating for around 120, about 50 TVs, which would be inclusive of those that are over the sports window, I think. What do we have, four?

BB: We’re going to have actually five windows and eight kiosks throughout the property as well.


SH: Will the menu be typical of what exists in Las Vegas? I know the regulations from the gaming commission, they’re not making any limitations on betting on local college teams. Beyond that, futures, props, in-play?

BB: I think we’ll have as much or maybe more than Las Vegas. We definitely will have the in-game wagering and all the proposition wagers, all the futures. Our expectation here is that we’re gonna have a full compliment of wagering options for our business, for our guests.

SH: For football, do you anticipate 10 or 20- cent lines?

BB: I think we’ll still do the 10 cent, the minus 110 on both sides. I don’t think were gonna do anything any different than normal. Business as usual.

SH: Do you think you’re gonna be taking a lot of action on Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and needing to kind of shade your lines a bit?

BB: I do think we’ll take a lot of action on those local teams. I’m familiar with what happened down with the Vegas Golden Knights and probably what’s gonna happen with the Raiders, when they get to Vegas. We’re definitely gonna get a lot of wagers on the home teams, like the Saints.

But my anticipation, I don’t think we want to be somebody that’s just gonna move the number or try to get ahead of the number, just because we think somebody might bet that locally. We want to have a fair number and we want to move it based off the action when it comes in.

SH: You mentioned working with the folks in Atlantic City. We saw there was a recent partnership announced between Golden Nugget and  SBTech. For the time being, are you guys handling all the pricing and risk management in-house?

BB: We do have an agreement with SBTech, and when we open up we will be partnered with SBTech.

SH: This issue came up in New Jersey at The Meadowlands, at a sportsbook not located within a casino: Will patrons be able to cash tickets at the casino cage after the sportsbook closes?

BB: Yes, we’ll have a terminal at the cage, so after we close they can go down and cash their tickets at the casino cage. Absolutely.

SH: At least 14 or 15 eligible properties have so far applied for a license for sports betting, many in Biloxi. How will or how can Golden Nugget stand out?

SK:  I think there’s a couple others following our approach where we offer a traditional experience. I think that from what we’ve heard, is that some are going more towards the kiosks if there’s limited space. Where are you based out of?

SH: I’m in New Jersey.

SK: Okay, so you’re in New Jersey. So I don’t know anything about the Atlantic City market, but I’m sure you could relate — there’s 12 or 13 casinos down here. There’s really three nice ones. We’re one of them.

There’s really a couple of us that are gonna compete for what are destination folks that have gone to Vegas for big events. I think now you’ll have folks from the southeast that are thinking ‘Well, instead of flying to Vegas, I could drive down to Biloxi for the weekend’ and we’d be one of their top three.

It’s obvious, Beau Rivage has 1700 hotel rooms, we’ve got 700. It’s a much bigger resort. I think that they’ll benefit from that, but with 700 rooms and as far as amenity-wise, that we will have more of a traditional sportsbook feel in there. We already have the nicest pool on the coast, a game changer type pool.

golden nugget sportsbook resort pool legal sports betting

SH: From what I understand, with the regulations right now, you can offer mobile on premises, but not beyond that. Are you guys going to be offering that?

SK: Yes. We can’t promise it. That date may lag — we’re not gonna delay our opening. Brad?

BB: Yeah, we’re not gonna delay our opening to get that enacted, but it should be coming fairly soon after we get up and running. But yes, the intention is, is we will have that mobile app experience on the property. Absolutely.

SK: It’s a super-high priority for the gaming commission to be 100 percent confident that someone can’t pull up under your casino or in the parking lot and make a wager. So we’ll do everything necessary to make sure that that won’t happen.

SH: Right. In the future, are you guys interested in seeing the commission, or I guess the legislators, make some adjustments to allow mobile throughout the state?

SK: I would think we’d be silly not to. We’re not actively lobbying for that … I think that we’re very gracious that the state of Mississippi was proactive a couple years ago [legalizing sports betting pending a change in federal law]. The fact that Mississippi’s out in front of this … we won’t be the last, but being the first in the south is huge, just to build up that equity.

It’s no different than traditional gambling, people are gonna gamble out of convenience, first and foremost. But especially states like Alabama, that won’t have it anytime soon, if not ever. For someone who can only come to Mississippi right now and start to get used to it, and goes back to us having a nice sportsbook. 

SH: Last question. What are you guys most excited about as this prepares to roll out? 

BB: Well, I’ve experienced a sportsbook on a Sunday morning in Las Vegas, and I think I may be one of the only ones down in this area that have really experienced that on a regular basis. I’m excited for the guests to be able to come in and have a full wagering menu at fair odds, that they may or may not have been getting with their, as you say, they’re offshore, or illegal bookie.

But I’m also excited for the casinos to be able to see the amount of people that are gonna come in on a Sunday morning and bet these games, and hang around all day and drink. There’s just nothing like it in my mind. It’s just special,.

SK: Wearing my marketing hat, I have a new product with a limited supply and high demand. So that’s fun to market that, it’s not real fun marketing a car giveaway because everyone gives away a car every weekend. But to be able to put up a billboard in Alabama saying, “Come to Mississippi and bet on sports.” Heck, it’s fun right now.

The post What to Expect From Mississippi’s Golden Nugget Biloxi Sportsbook Launch appeared first on SportsHandle.

Mississippi Sports Betting to Launch at MGM Properties in Biloxi, Tunica

The post Mississippi Sports Betting to Launch This Week at MGM Properties in Biloxi, Tunica appeared first on SportsHandle.

As had been rumored since the new Mississippi sports betting regulations went into effect on July 21, the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS) and Gold Strike Casino Resort (Tunica, MS) will accept their first legal sports wagers on Wednesday, August 1 at 12 p.m. CT.

“The two Mississippi gaming resorts, both part of the MGM Resorts International portfolio, will celebrate the occasion with invited guests placing simultaneous first bets in the two locations at opposite ends of the Magnolia State,” a statement from MGM reads. “These first sports wagers will be placed on the 26th anniversary of the first casino bet made in Mississippi’s modern casino age, when the first pair of dice was rolled at the Isle of Capri in Biloxi on August 1, 1992.”

For now, wagering will be retail, or on-premises only. Mississippi’s enabling legislation in 2017 that permits sports wagering now there there’s been a change in federal law, courtesy the United States Supreme Court in May, but allows only wagering only in person and via mobile on casino premises.

Mississippi Sports Betting Will Arrive This Week in Biloxi and Tunica at MGM’s Beau Rivage and Gold Strike.


Among dignitaries and sports figures invited to place the first wagers are Willis McGahee, former NFL Pro Bowl running back (2003-2013); New Orleans native Robert Royal, former NFL tightend  (2002-2010); and handicapper and sports analyst for USA TODAY, Danny Sheridan.

“It’s been exciting, it’s been busy, and we’re starting to get applications in,” said Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director Allen Godfrey in early July. “Operators are diligently preparing. It appears that the enthusiasm is high.

“We’ve had staff in Nevada, we’ve had them in New Jersey,” Godfrey continued. “We talk constantly with these other agencies and the model we are after is the Nevada model.”

Support and training from personnel in Nevada is part of why MGM will be the first to take wagers in Mississippi, and why the MGM-owned Borgata Hotel & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey opened its doors on June 14, the day that the Garden State saw its first two licensees launch.

Over a dozen of Mississippi’s casinos, largely concentrated in Biloxi on the Gulf Coast and Tunica in the northwestern part of the state near Memphis, Tennessee, have applied for licenses.


Full details of the sportsbook at the Beau Rivage, already regarded as a cream-of-the-crop resort in Mississippi, are not available. The lounge is likely a temporary space for the time being with about 5 to 8 sports betting windows/tellers available.

Further, we anticipate a traditional sports betting menu, with straight bets, parlays, teasers, props and futures, just like the recently launched Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And there will be no limitation on wagering on local college teams — namely Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

[Also See: ‘Enthusiasm Is High’ as Mississippi Sports Betting Preparations Underway]

Other Casinos Soon to Follow.

Mississippi Sports Betting legal sportsbook golden nugget
The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, MS

Sports Handle has learned that the Golden Nugget in Biloxi will also launch sometime in August, likely before football season.

Likewise, the Horsehoe Tunica, next door neighbor of the Gold Strike, will launch “The Book” in mid-August, roughly. That opening will coincide with a sportsbook launch at Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel & Casino — a Caesars property like the Horseshoe. Others in both Biloxi and Tunica will follow in the coming weeks.

This MGM news comes on the same day that the company disclosed further details of its $200 million joint venture with British betting group GVC. Plus — Monday brought word of its partnership with regional operator Boyd Gaming. The latter arrangement will expand MGM’s portfolio into states likely to offer sports betting and/or online gaming in the coming months or years. The partnership has an eye toward jurisdictions where either Boyd Gaming or MGM Resorts operate physical casino resorts and should be able to obtain licenses to operate online.

This sure beats a Friday news dump!  Stay tuned for further coverage Mississippi sports betting launches and developments.

The post Mississippi Sports Betting to Launch This Week at MGM Properties in Biloxi, Tunica appeared first on SportsHandle.