MGM And Mississippi Launching Sports Betting On Aug. 1

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Biloxi skyline at night

“Your team. Our turf.”

That’s how Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, an MGM property located in Biloxi, Mississippi let the world know sports betting is on the horizon.

On Monday, MGM Resorts International announced that Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica would accept the first sports bets in the Magnolia State.

The state has had a sports betting law on the books since 2017 and the regulations in place since July 22. MGM will be the first operator to offer legal sports betting in Mississippi.

In a press release from MGM, the company issued the following statement:

“The two Mississippi gaming resorts, both part of the MGM Resorts International portfolio, will celebrate the occasion with invited guests placing simultaneous first bets in the two locations at opposite ends of the Magnolia State. These first sports wagers will be placed on the 26th anniversary of the first casino bet made in Mississippi’s modern casino age, when the first pair of dice was rolled at the Isle of Capri in Biloxi on August 1, 1992.”

On Wednesday, Mississippi will become the third state to accept legal sports bets following the Supreme Court’s May decision. Delaware was first, followed closely by New Jersey.

The ceremonial first bet will take place at noon. Invited to the festivities and to help kick sports betting off in style are:

  • Willis McGahee, former Miami Hurricanes running back and NFL Pro Bowler
  • Robert Royal – former Washington Redskins tight end and Louisiana State Tigers star
  • Danny Sheridan – considered one of the best oddsmakers in the business
  • Larry Gregory – former director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission and current director of the Mississippi Hotel and Hospitality Association

MGM is hogging all the headlines

Earlier in the day, MGM struck an agreement with GVC Holdings. The 50/50 joint venture will “revolutionize the world of sports betting and online gaming in the United States.”

Following that announcement, MGM and Boyd Gaming announced an “unprecedented partnership.” The agreement will give both companies access to online gaming and sports betting in 15 states, including Mississippi.

The latest announcement about launching sports betting in Mississippi in a few days time is just the icing on the cake for the Nevada-based company.

New Jersey and Delaware may soon face competition from the next likely states to offer sports betting:

Mississippi, on the other hand, will most certainly be the only southern state to offer sports betting this year. It may prove to be a significant regional market advantage.

The downside, if there is one, is sports wagers will only be accepted from bettors physically located on the casino property.

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Expect more Mississippi sportsbooks before month’s end

In the midst of all the MGM news, Caesars Entertainment came out with some big news of its own. It plans to launch sports betting in New Jersey on July 30 at Bally’s and at Harrah’s Atlantic City on Aug. 1.

Caesars is also planning to launch sports betting at its two Mississippi properties.  Horseshoe Tunica and Harrah’s Gulf Coast will start accepting sports bets sometime in mid-August.

To make this launch happen, Caesars also announced a partnership with Scientific Games. The agreement allows Caesars to launch sports betting in both New Jersey and Mississippi relatively quickly.

Besides MGM and Caesars, 12 other Mississippi casinos applied for sports betting licenses. Football season is near. It would not be surprising to celebrate the opening of more Mississippi sportsbooks before the first game.

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Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.

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