Arkansas and Mississippi Struggle in Sports Betting
This is around the time each month when states start announcing sports betting handles and revenue reports from the previous year. There have already been a handful of states that have set new records in December, but that wasn’t the case in Arkansas or Mississippi.
Neither of the states listed above are major sports betting markets, but they have been trending in the right direction. It’s unclear what caused the slight decrease in the action, but the lack of mobile betting has hurt each state.
The total sports betting handle in Mississippi in December was $56.8 million, a decrease of 6.1 percent from November. The revenue was an even bigger drop as there was a drop of 66 percent for the month.
There are three sports betting properties in the state of Arkansas, and all three sportsbooks saw a slight decrease in the amount of betting action. Southland Casino Racing saw a decrease of 10% in the total handle, and it has consistently been the top sportsbook in the state.
Oaklawn Casino Resort and Saracen Casino Resort combined for a total sports betting handle of $3.1 million, and each state saw a drop of six percent or less.
Online Sports Betting Coming to Arkansas
There is some optimism that the Arkansas sports betting industry will start to show some growth in 2022. The Arkansas Racing Commission approved a measure that will allow online bets to be placed throughout the state.
The Arkansas Legislative Council still has to approve this rule change as well, but there is hope that this will occur as early as this month. If all goes according to plan then mobile sports betting could begin in February.
Another huge advantage of online sports betting in Arkansas is that the state will be receiving 51 percent of the profit that online bookmakers bring in. The national average for revenue sharing is usually less than 15 percent in other states, but Arkansas is going to be receiving a huge revenue boost.
Gaming Increases in Mississippi
While the sports betting numbers in Mississippi were down in the month of December, other forms of gaming did extremely well. Online gambling is not currently allowed in the state of Mississippi and all of the action has to be done on casino property.
Slots produced a total handle of $2.3 billion for the month of December, and that was an increase of 9.65% from November. The handle from table games went up more than 10% as that handle was right around $175 million.
There has been some talk about expanding online gambling in the state, but don’t expect any changes anytime soon. A bill was recently introduced that would allow for statewide mobile wagering, but it’s unclear how much support that bill is going to receive.