What Do Delaware’s Early Sports Betting Numbers Tell Us About Mississippi’s Potential?

Recently, the State of Delaware released data from the first 20 days of sports wagering in the state. These numbers may provide some insight into the anticipated success of sports betting in Mississippi.

But first, let’s review what some of the experts have previously estimated gross gaming revenue (“GGR”) from sports wagering could be in the Magnolia State.

On May 15, 2018, Allen Godfrey, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, made a prediction on the potential size of the Mississippi sports wagering market, saying, “This is not for the $60-100 million that may be generated. It’s for the additional benefits of having people stay at your properties.” The “additional benefits” beyond sports betting GGR to which Godfrey alluded could include additional overnight stays at Mississippi casinos, more covers in restaurants, additional customer play at slots and table games, ancillary sales and gaming tax benefits to the state and more.

In 2017, the American Gaming Association commissioned Oxford Economics to conduct a study on the potential for sports wagering in the United States. Their study concluded legalizing sports wagering in Mississippi could provide an additional $197.2 million in GGR for the state, resulting in a direct and indirect increase in employment of 2,543 people and an increase in direct and indirect income of $98.6 million.

Another 2017 study conducted by Global Market Advisors pegged the Mississippi sports wagering market as being somewhere between $13.1 million and $65.4 million. Earlier this year, Gambling Compliance Outlook estimated that GGR for the Mississippi sports betting market would be $56.1 million.

Also in 2017, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated that the total US market for sports betting could be as high as $6.03 billion by 2023. If that number were to be ratably distributed among the current legal US commercial gaming jurisdictions, and using 2016 gross gaming numbers as a benchmark of relative market size, then the fair share for Mississippi (almost $2.1 billion of the total US $38.96 billion) of the $6 billion estimated market in sports wagering would be staggering–approximately $325 million.

But let’s get real. Mississippi casinos are NOT going to win $325 million in additional gross gaming revenue due to legal sports wagering. In 2017, Nevada set a record for sports wagering revenues with $248.8 million in GGR from sports betting – and that was with Nevada as essentially the only full service legal sports wagering jurisdiction in the US.

So, what is a realistic expectation for growth in GGR for Mississippi with sports betting? Continue Reading