Louisiana Watches Mississippi Wagering From The Sidelines

An op-ed that appeared in The Advocate points out that, once more, Louisiana has lost out to neighboring Mississippi by not passing legislation allowing sports wagering at its casinos. Unlike Louisiana, argues the author, Stephanie Grace, Mississippi anticipated the legal change that took place when the US Supreme Court okayed sports betting across the country.  This foresight led to the state approving sports betting it its casinos by the time the higher court gave its ruling in May this year. Unfortunately, despite a bill to do the same that was introduced by State Senator Danny Martiny, Louisiana rejected the idea and the bill did not advance.

“At this point, the earliest it can [advance] is next spring, assuming Gov. John Bel Edwards isn’t about to call yet another special legislative session for just this purpose,” writes Grace.

There is really nothing Louisiana can do for the moment except watch Mississippi’s burgeoning casino industry from the sidelines. It probably doesn’t help pro-gamblers in Louisiana when they see the publication of Mississippi’s August results. State figures show that gamblers in Mississippi lost $13 million more last month in comparison to August 2017 numbers. Overall, revenue rose 10% at the 12 coastal casinos and 4% at the 16 river casinos. $645,000 of losses were on sports bets, with $7.7 million in bets placed in the first month of sports wagering in Mississippi.

According to the article, this suggests “that the new option may be attracting more people overall, which also means more money from hotel stays, meals and entertainment.”

These numbers were taken from before football season, when “things are really like to kick up.”  The Mississippi Gaming Commission plans to analyze whether sports betting is creating increases in other revenue, and by how much, once September is over.

Mississippi state officials expect wagers of between $25 million and $30 million on sports during the month of September. “You have to believe that at least some of that money would be spent at Louisiana casinos, if customers had the option,” reads the article.



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