Mississippi casinos have reported a revenue rise of 13% to $124 million in March, boosted by betting on the NCAA basketball tournament.
The only month when higher revenue was recorded was in July 2007. March is usually the peak revenue month of the year at Mississippi casinos, with gamblers spurred to the table by income tax refunds. Gamblers lost $212 million, up 5% from $201 million in March 2018.
“They saw really good numbers associated with March Madness,” said Jay McDaniel, deputy director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
Casino managers and state officials believe sports bettors are also spending money in casino hotels and restaurants and doing other gambling.
“Sports betting is certainly contributing the most to our increased revenue, but it is hard to put actual numbers on the non-gaming components. We do know that with those who are sports betting are staying the night, gambling, and eating at our hotel and casino,” Chett Harrison, general manager of Golden Nugget Biloxi casino, wrote in an email.