PlayUSA Rewind: Mississippi Considering Mobile Sports Betting For 2022

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on November 10, 2021 - Last Updated on May 10, 2022

Welcome back to the PlayUSA Rewind!

Several states, including New York and Mississippi, are finally putting mobile sports betting front and center.

This week, Mississippi regulators discuss mobile betting, New York has its list of sports betting operators, and Maryland casinos enjoy a big October.

For even more coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the rewind:

Mississippi lawmakers taking another look at mobile betting

Now that sports betting in Louisiana is a reality, nearby Mississippi is once again taking another look at the mobile component.

According to WLOXState Rep. Casey Eure, chair of the MS House Gaming Committee, lawmakers are working on a bill to legalize MS mobile sports betting apps.

However, Eure’s first task is making sure casinos are protected.

“I want to make sure we can protect our bricks and mortars. If they want to team up with DraftKings and FanDuel, that’s fine,” Eure said.

After speaking with the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association — the representative arm of the casino industry — Eure said a bill could be ready for the House by Jan. 1, 2022.

The takeaway: Mississippi will cause itself a lot of headaches if it tries to protect the casino industry first. It’s one thing to get a bill right, but it’s another thing to actively protect one sector over another. There is a world where mobile betting and the casino industry can coexist — see Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

New York selects nine sports betting operators

Finally, gaming regulators have released the list of operators set to run New York mobile sports betting. 

The nine operators are:

  • Group 1: FanDuel, DraftKings, Bally’s, BetMGM
  • Group 2: Caesars Entertainment, PointsBet, Resorts World, Rush Street Interactive, WynnBet

Each operator will receive a 10-year license with a 51% tax rate. 

As of right now, there is no timeline as to when mobile sports betting in New York will launch. However, there is a chance online sports betting could be ready in time for the Super Bowl.

The takeaway: With such a high tax rate, it will be challenging for operators to make a profit. But the big piece of information is the launch date. Lawmakers have put this in the hands of operators. Meaning, operators will not launch as a group. When a product is ready, it can go live. 

Rush Street only wants one sportsbook in Chicago

Neil Bluhm, the owner of Rush Street Gamingtold the Chicago City Council sportsbooks at stadiums and arenas would hurt profits from a forthcoming Chicago casino.

It appears Bluhm is using the age-old cannibalization argument. 

Bluhm told the Chicago Sun-Times, “less people will come to the Chicago casino when they can bet on sports at the stadiums, particularly at these really good, close locations [at Wrigley Field and the United Center].”

Bluhm also said sportsbooks across the city would cost a casino $61 million in lost revenue, cost the city $12 million in taxes and the state $9 million. 

Perhaps this has something to do with Rush Street’s bid to operate a future Chicago casino. 

The takeaway: Talking about lost revenue is right out of the political strategy playbook. If you want politicians to vote your way, tell them how much money they would lose if they don’t. Let’s not forget, Rush Street was the primary supporter of in-person registration for sports betting accounts. Bluhm does carry a significant amount of clout, but hopefully lawmakers do their homework before doing anything drastic. 

Delaware Park racetrack sold

After 38-years, Delaware Park will be under new ownership.

The Rickman family sold the casino and racetrack to Clairvest Group Inc., a private equity group and Rubico Gaming, a gaming investor.

Financials of the deal have not been released but, according to Delaware Park President Bill Fasy, he’s “unaware” of any operational changes.

This will be the 30th casino, and racetrack Clairvest Group has invested in and the second racetrack Rubico Gaming has purchased. Earlier this year, Rubico Gaming took ownership of Louisiana Downs.

The takeaway: There are three racinos in Delaware, Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway & Casino. Perhaps new ownership will pump some new blood into the facility, which has been around since the 1930s.

Maryland casinos post big numbers for October

The six casinos in Maryland combined to generate $154.9 million in gaming revenue for October. Breaking down the revenue total, slot machines posted $114.7 million, while table games contributed $40.1 million.

Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland was the top performer of the group with $60.8 million in revenue. At the bottom of the group was Rocky Gap Casino Resort, with $5.8 million.

The standout number is the $1.7 billion in revenue thus far for 2021. Maryland casinos are on track to surpass $2 billion in total revenue by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, MD sports betting won’t be able to help further enhance revenue numbers. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission has yet to award licenses to five casinos. Experts anticipate sports betting will be pushed out to early 2022. 

The takeaway: Maryland is slowly establishing itself as an east coast driver in the gaming industry. Once it can implement and launch sports betting, these numbers will only increase with time. 

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Market Teaser

This week’s Market Teaser is an old favorite, DraftKings Inc. ($DKNG). According to Wall Street Journal, following the announcement by state gambling regulators that nine operators have been selected to operate NY mobile sports betting, DraftKings shares were up 2.4%.

DraftKings Inc.

$DKNG | $41.74 | -1.31% change

  • DraftKings, along with eight other operators, will enter the New York sports betting market. However, it will come at a price. The state will tax gaming revenue at 51%. 
-Wall Street Journal

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Photo by Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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