Sports betting is now under way in Mississippi, but not everyone thinks it will pay off for the Magnolia State.
Mississippi legalized casino gambling in the 1990s, but it was not until this summer that sports betting regulations took effect following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned a federal ban on sports betting. To date, Mississippi is the third state to allow sports betting – and the only state in the South.
"Although sports betting isn't a big money-maker for casinos, it is expected to draw new people and excitement to the casinos right from the start," the Mississippi-based Sun Herald reports. "Delaware, in the first 20 days of sports betting, saw 69,698 wagers and $7 million in bets, along with about $1 million in tax revenue for the state [whereas] the first 17 days in New Jersey brought $16.4 million in wagers."
Delaware and New Jersey are the other two states currently offering sports betting.
Mississippi may be the only option for people in its part of the country, and while casino operators are gambling on increased traffic as a result, William Perkins of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and editor of The Baptist Record says it's a losing proposition for people.
"People are going to come in from the sports gambling rooms and ask for money just to get home or to feed their children," Perkins tells OneNewsNow. "I know for a fact that Baptist church funds, [that] charity funds to help people, are exhausted many times faster because people are coming in from the casinos."
Perkins adds that casino gambling failed to deliver on the promises of improving education and other needs in Mississippi.