The Horseshoe Tunica Hotel and Casino will open its sportsbook today. According to ESPN’s David Purdum, the Caesars property will begin accepting bets at 11:30 a.m.
The new facility, tentatively called “The Book,” is next door to the poker room at the Horseshoe. The new sportsbook will feature 12 large screen TVs to view sporting events.
Three more screens will display the various odds and bets available to bettors. Horseshoe Race and Sportsbook Manager Chris McConnell, in an interview with National Football Post, mentioned that the property will focus on regional sports and wagering on those events.
In fact, McConnell said, The Book will offer an entire screen of regional proposition bets to take advantage of the casino’s location in the Southeastern Conference. However, he added that the property will also coordinate its odds with other Caesars properties nationwide.
Horseshoe Tunica third in Tunica, fifth in Mississippi
The debut of The Book at Horseshoe Tunica is the third of its kind in the northern Mississippi town. Overall, The Book is the fifth sports betting location in the Magnolia State.
MGM Resorts International was the first to market lauching on Aug. 1. The casino giant opened sportsbooks at its Gold Strike location in Tunica and its Beau Rivage property in Biloxi.
Not to be outdone, Boyd Gaming opened sports betting facilities at its two Mississippi properties on Aug. 3. Both IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica now offer wagering on sporting events.
The oneupsmanship between MGM and Boyd is a bit surprising, given that the two recently became partners. However, their partnership is merely an access deal. So, it’s actually more of an agreement to compete with each other than anything else.
Lots of activity for a state with no online sports betting
It’s been a whirlwind of activity for the brand-new Mississippi sports betting scene. New Jersey took two months to open five sportsbooks. The Magnolia State did it in 13 days.
The gaming companies involved are definitely betting big on sports betting in the state. Here is a view of the new facility at Beau Rivage:
Nine other Mississippi casinos have submitted applications for licenses. Amazingly, with all this activity, there will be only limited online sports betting in Mississippi.
The current law only allows for betting within the properties themselves.
So, a person sitting in one of the restaurants at Sam’s Town could potentially place a wager on a sporting event. However, they could not do so out in the parking garage.
It’s an oddity of lawmaking, and a curious issue, given that Mississippi lawmakers had the foresight to squeeze sports betting into a 2017 fantasy sports law. Those same legislators already face in-state pressure to amend the existing law to allow betting on devices throughout the state.
Regardless, Mississippi is the first Southern state to offer sports betting. Its reward is already incoming, with football season just days away. With some of the nation’s top teams and their fanbases not too far from these properties, it certainly seems like it will be a big deal.