Nearly $10 million bet legally in first month of Mississippi sports gambling

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AP 2015 file photo by John Locher

Odds are displayed on a screen at a sports book at CG Technology in Las Vegas. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows casino betting on sports in Mississippi and other states.

Sports gamblers wagered $9.8 million at Mississippi casinos from Aug. 1 through Sept. 3, the Mississippi Gaming Commission says.

“We did not really have any expectations, but these seem like positive numbers,” Allen Godfrey, executive director of the gaming commission said.

The Beau Rivage in Biloxi and the Gold Strike in Tunica on Aug. 1 became the first two Mississippi casinos to offer sports betting. Since then 18 more casinos have opened sports books.

Mississippi levies a 12 percent tax on gross casino gaming revenue. In the recently concluded special session, lawmakers added a measure that allows sports betting revenue to be used to help fund transportation needs.

That $9.8 million sports betting figure includes both winning and losing bets, so it is not the amount that will be taxed. The figure on taxable revenue will come later this month.

The Golden Moon Casino near Philadelphia opened a sports book on Aug. 30 and Bok Homa Casino in Sandersonville opened a sports book on Sept. 1. The two Choctaw casinos are not among the 20 sports books currently regulated by the gaming commission.