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Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association
Sports betting launch called ‘smooth,’ revenues jumped
Official Newsmagazine of the Mississippi Gaming Industry
FALL 2018 Volume XV Issue 8
W. Michael Sunderman
Lori Beth Susman
General Manager / Executive Editor
Mary Sunderman
Associate Publisher
David Grisham
Contributing Editor
Michael Haynes
Business Manager
Brian Treadaway
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Copyright, 2018
Mississippi Gaming News
(MGN) is owned and published by M2 Media Corp., 12268 Intraplex Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503. MGN is produced in cooperation with the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association. The contents of MGN are copyrighted. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.
By Larry Gregory
As a veteran of the gaming industry, I would have never imagined that I would be writing about the availability of sports betting
and a lottery in Mississippi. Yet, I’m doing just that.
Sports Betting
The introduc-
tion of sports
betting to our
state has been
positive. The
Mississippi Gam-
ing Commission
(MGC) has said
that its launch has been “smooth” and there have been no problems as opera- tors came online. The MGC has worked tirelessly since the law was passed to ensure that sports betting would be con- ducted with the utmost honest and integ- rity in Mississippi. Honesty and integrity are something casinos in the state have developed a reputation for during the past 25 years.
Early reports are encouraging. In September, we saw our first numbers from sports betting, including a 14 percent jump in revenue at the 12 Gulf Coast casinos in September 2018 versus September 2017. Overall, Coast casinos grossed $108 million
in September compared to September 2017, when they grossed $95.4 million. We are pleased with the numbers and know that these additional funds will help
the state with road projects and other infrastructure improvements. Another pleasant surprise is seeing people not normally seen in our casinos — new customers and a younger demographic. What’s in the future? I believe we will see modest growth over the coming months until our customers become more comfortable with betting on sports. Also, I anticipate that due to the success of sports betting, we will see the erosion of the illegal market. Given a
choice, legal always wins out.
I would like to express my appreciation
to two of our state legislators, Chairman Richard Bennett and Chairman Casey Eure for leading the effort to get sports betting legalized in our state. Thank you both for your leadership.
On the heels of sports betting, our state now has a lottery that will be coming in the not too distant future. Recently, Gov. Phil Bryant appointed
five members to the Mississippi Lottery Corporation Board of Directors. This is the first step to establish the rules and regulations associated with a lottery. I would anticipate it would take some time before people begin buying tickets, most likely after the 2019 Legislative session.
In other news:
In Las Vegas, the biggest gaming show in the country, G2E, just wrapped up another successful year. This show highlights the growth of our industry and what the future holds, not to mention all of the new slots that will be hitting the gaming floors across the country. Here are a few highlights of the show:
• Sports Betting Symposium
• Innovation Incubator
• Innovation Lab
• Products and technologies from 400
If you happen to have missed the
G2E, no worries, the 2019 Southern Gaming Summit, located on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast, will take place May 7-9 at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. We had positive feedback from last year’s show and we expect an even greater one this year.
A few of the expected events include: • Golf tournament
• Opening night party
• Keynote speaker’s address
• Global Gaming Women Luncheon
• The Second Annual Mississippi Gaming Hall of Fame Dinner Banquet
Larry Gregory is the executive director of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association. He can be reached at
Larry Gregory

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