THE Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) has given approval for both SBTech and William Hill USA to manufacture and retail sports betting platforms in the state.
SB Tech has already struck a deal with the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi, while William Hill will operate sports betting at Silver Slipper in Hancock County, Hard Rock, Palace, Treasury Bay and Island View casinos.
Approval for SB Tech and William Hill to operate in the state was given at the MGC meeting last Thursday in Jackson.
Two out of the 12 casinos in South Mississippi were already offering sports bets and as there are few days until the official start of the NFL and South Eastern Conference football, the remaining were keen to join the fray.
The executive director of the Gaming Commission Allen Godfrey said sports betting operators are given approval just like slot machine operators.
He indicated that the casinos need to get approval for their rules, equipment, operations and staff to be able to start operations.
On Friday, August 17, Boomtown Casino Biloxi, Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast, and Hard Rock Casino Biloxi, started offering sports betting.
General Manager of Hard Rock, Todd Raziano, was excited the approval came before the start of the football season.
“That gives us two weeks before football season starts in earnest,” he said.
Despite late fall being normally slow for casinos in Mississipi, he was optimistic things would change this year.
“This region is just so crazy about football,” he said. “We’re so passionate about our teams.”
Harrah’s Gulf Coast started sports betting operations at 11:30 a.m. on Monday and Palace Casino followed later in the day.
General manager of IP Casino, Duncan McKenzie, indicated that Mississippi is the only state in the South operating legal sports betting.
“We’re first and we’re going to be first for a while,” he said.
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