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.

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.