It's Legal! The Fantasy Contest Act, signed in 2017, as well a modification in the 1972 Gaming Control Act, to legalize daily fantasy sports, laid the groundwork for the regulation of sports betting in MS.
With the SCOTUS May 2018 ruling and the official legalization of the sector, Mississippi's numerous casinos and operating sites could become the host for live sports betting, long advocated for by state representatives.
Watching classified job ads is a stealthy away of deducing the direction of a company's envisaged expansion, even if they are not spelling it out in the press; and the number of positions being advertised by Caesar's Entertainment Mississippi paints the picture of a company on the verge of expanding into sports betting!
Positions were advertised just last week, and not only are top level management positions being advertised, but supervisor and ticket writer positions are also available for certain properties, which point to a full-scale launch being imminent.
It seems that the first venues for sports betting in Caesar's group are destined to be Biloxi's Harrah's Gulf Coast and Horseshoe Tunica. Caesar's online will be something to look forward to as well. There is industry-wide speculation that Mississippi may be ready to launch its state sports-betting as soon as the end of this summer.
On May 14, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court paved the path for the legalization of sports gambling in individual states by lifting the ban on state-authorized sports betting, enforced by the federal government.
In Mississippi, the Supreme Court ruling removed the final obstacle for state legislators' year-long struggle to legalize the sports betting industry.
MGM, the owner of Mississippi's Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casinos, as well as plenty of establishments in Las Vegas, is expected to take the lead in creating the sports books and be the driving force behind the industry in the state.
Jay McDaniel, Mississippi's Gaming Commissioner Deputy Director, reported that those casinos could host live sports betting as soon as the end of summer this year. This is good news for MGM and other casino owners in Mississippi, as it's just in time for the 2018-19 NFL season.
The legalization is also welcomed by city council members due to new tax revenues from Mississippi Online Casinos:
It's interesting to note that these same positions within Caesar's group are not being advertised for New Jersey. Why would that be, if the strategy is for sports betting to go live across the group? I thought this over, and can only surmise that bringing in staff from Las Vegas to Jersey, is a far easier task than transferring those same experienced staff to Mississippi.
Like Caesar's Entertainment, MGM Resorts is also advertising widely for new staff in MS.
Borgata Casino AC already has a sportsbook up and running, having launched sport betting on 14th June, 2018, and has enjoyed the attention of no other than the sporting legend Julius Erving, who placed a bet on the Super Bowl this week. His five dollars was on the Eagles. Borgata's sports-betting online should follow soon.
Other MGM Resorts looking promising for early sports betting opening are Beau Rivage Casino, Biloxi, and Gold Strike Casino, Tunica.
Churchill Downs is another gaming concern that appears to be setting themselves up for sports- betting, but their recruitment drive is still at a very high level, with them advertising for a Corporate Director of Online Gaming Development. This would indicate that they are still merely setting out and are not as far down the road as Caesar's or MGM.
Surprisingly, Penn National, which owns a number of suitable properties in Mississippi, does not appear to be making any moves which indicate that they intend opening sports betting anytime soon. Having scoured a number of job and recruitment platforms, nothing seems to be indicative of a move in this direction.
What we do know with relative certainty is that MGM and Caesar's will be first out the gates in Mississippi with sports-betting; the next runner up remains a surprise!