The new executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Jay McDaniel was welcomed to the new position by some good news. McDaniel took over the top job in the state’s gambling industry as the Mississippi casinos are coming off fantastic results in August. Last month, the Gulf Coast casinos raked in the most revenue for this period in history.
The new executive director steps into the new role replacing Allen Godfrey who retired at the end of the last month. McDaniel previously served 10 years as a Commission deputy director and also has experience as an attorney in private practice.
Record Numbers for the Mississippi Casinos
According to McDaniel, casinos under his jurisdiction totaled over $200 million in revenue for the month of August. The lion’s share of this number came from the coastline casinos. The Gulf Coast gambling establishments accounts for $124 million last month.
The results could have even been better if there wasn’t for the unpredictable weather problems. A Category 4 hurricane struck the shore south of New Orleans. The strong winds and torrential rain forced the temporary closing of the Mississippi and Louisiana casinos. Mississippi has 26 casinos total, but 12 of them are located along the Gulf Coast, including 8 in the Biloxi region.
The state’s casinos are now on the pace for the record year. Normally, the gambling revenue in Mississippi is around $2.1 billion per calendar year. This year, the casinos could easily hit the mark of around $2.4 or 2.5 billion. For comparison, 2019 revenue was $2.2 billion and that was considered to be a good year. Last year, due to the Covid-19 issues, the casinos across Mississippi recorded only $1.8 billion of gross revenue.
Hopes for Online Sports Betting Legalization
These numbers could go even higher if the state fully legalizes sports betting. At the moment, sports wagering is only allowed inside the sportsbook establishment. Off-site betting, including wagering on smart devices, is currently prohibited.
McDaniel hopes for the good news regarding sports betting when the state Legislature meets next year. The Commission is more than ready and would be able to act quickly on the online wagering regulation. The process of legalizing sports betting is already on the way in two neighboring states – Arkansas, and Tennessee.
In Arkansas, the wagers can be placed on the casino grounds at the moment, while off-site mobile betting is still not allowed. Tennessee has made sports betting legal in November 2020. This helped them rank 10th nationwide in money bet on sporting events. The total amount was $144.5 million even though the state of Tennessee features no commercial casinos. In Louisiana, most parishes now have legalized sports wagering, although it’s still not operational. Below is a video about “Mississippi Gaming Commission updates its COVID-19 guidelines for casinos.”
The legalization process is yet to be finished as the state’s Gamin Control Board still hasn’t set the rules and tax regulations regarding the betting industry. Once the Louisiana sports betting gets off the ground, the bettors will be able to place their wagers at the sportsbooks and kiosks which will be set at restaurants and bars. In addition, mobile betting will also be legal.