The state of Mississipi has announced its sports betting totals for October, and it has been another terrific month for the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the industry to take a few steps back, but it appears that things are now back on track and looking up for the future.
Mississippi reported $61.2 million in sports betting handle in October 2020, which was a new state record. This was an increase of more than 17% from September, and several other gaming numbers were up as well.
The previous state record was set in November 2019, but it was almost $5 million less than what was reported in October 2020. November 2020 could set another record as this month has traditionally been strong in the sports betting industry.
Football was the most popular sport to bet on during October in Mississippi, bringing in more than $38 million in bets. Baseball was next on the list at $7.9 million.
Handle Up; Revenue Down
Mississippi has seen huge growth in terms of betting handle since 2019, but the total sports betting revenue is down. Several operators have been offering huge bonuses or promotions to attract new customers, which has taken away from the total revenue in the industry.
Mississippi sports betting handle was up more than 27% year-over-year, which shows that bettors have responded well to the industry. Total revenue was down more than 28%, and that is a massive blow to a state looking to this industry to provide some revenue.
Lack of Mobile Sports Betting
Mississippi does allow online or mobile betting, but all of this action must take place in specific locations. Bettors can place mobile bets, but they must be inside one of the 26 retail sports betting locations in the state.
Location services must be enabled on mobile devices before these types of bets can be placed, and it significantly limits the betting industry in the state. In the top sports betting markets in the US, more than 80% of all wagers are placed online or via a mobile device.
Louisiana Could Provide Competition
Mississippi has not faced a ton of competition when it comes to sports betting in that part of the country, but that could change in 2021. Arkansas has started to see an increase in this industry, and Louisiana is set to join the market.
Voters in each parish of Louisiana were asked to approve sports betting on November 3, and almost all of the parishes approved. That means that sports betting will eventually be legal in 55 of the 64 parishes in Louisiana, including the biggest regions.
Louisiana is expected to legalize and launch mobile betting, and that could prove to be a considerable challenge to Mississippi. The state could be forced to make some changes if it wishes to stay competitive and continue to grow in the industry.