Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Casino Open Sportsbooks on Aug 1

Beau Rivage Sportsbook - Golden Strike Casino Sports Betting

Beau Rivage’s sportsbook is making last-minute preparations for the Wednesday grand opening.

August 1 is the first day for legal sports betting in Mississippi. Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi is planning a special event to celebrate the opening of its sportsbook. First bets are being at the same time on Tuesday at straight-up noon at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica.

Both resorts are owned by MGM Resorts, the Las Vegas casino giant.

Beau Rivage and Gold Strike might be the first casinos to host sportsbooks in Mississippi, but they will not be alone for long. At least 2 more sportsbooks, IP Casino and Sam’s Town, should open in the next 7 to 10 days.

Eventually, all 12 Gulf Coast casinos will feature a sportsbook. Most of Tunica County’s casinos should have a sports betting operation, too.

Willis McGahee and Robert Royal

Several celebrities will be in attendance at the Beau Rivage, including former Miami Hurricanes running back and 2-time NFL Pro Bowler William McGahee, former LSU Tigers, Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, and Cleveland Browns tight end Robert Royal, and legendary oddsmaker Danny Sheridan.

Larry Gregory, the Mississippi Hotel & Hospitality Association’s executive directory and the former director fo the Misssisippi Gaming Commission, also will be on hand for the sportsbook’s opening. All four men are expected to make the initial bets at Beau Rivage. In Delaware, Gov. John Carney made a wager on the Philadelphia Phillies versus the Chicago Cubs (and won).

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy bet on Germany in the World Cup (and lost), but he hedged his bets and made a wager the New Jersey Devils would win the 2019 Stanley Cup. For the first time in 5 years, the Devils made the playoffs last year, so you never know in the NHL.

MLB Baseball and NFL Preseason Games

For the first weekend of business, bookmakers expect most of the betting to be on Major League Baseball games. The only NFL action this week is the Hall of Fame Game, which pits the Chicago Bears vs. the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, August 2nd.

Mississippi sportsbook operators wanted to be open in time for the football season, because that is the most lucrative time of the year for bookmakers in the United States. NFL preseason games are a tricky bet, especially in the early weeks of the preseason when most teams play their starters for only a few series.

The Hall of Fame game is the first preseason game of the year, about a week after the Bears and Ravens began camp. Neither team is expected to play key players for long. While the Bears’ second year quarterback is Mitchell Trubisky is supposed to have improved a great deal in the offseason, he and Ravens’ starter Joe Flacco will play only a series or two.

The Ravens’ have two backup QBs of note, rookie Lamar Jackson and veteran Robert Griffin III, so their squad might have the advantage in the game — given the fact those QBs will be on the field most of the game. Of course, since it’s the Hall of Fame Game, most of the focus will be on the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class: Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Jerry Kramer, Brian Dawkins, Robert Brazile, and Bobby Beathard.

Mississippi Sportsbooks’ SEC Football Games

In Mississippi and most of the deep south, the football season means Southeastern Conference (SEC) football. The August schedule of preseason games will allow bookmakers, handicappers, and casual sports bettors alike get used to the setup in the Mississippi sportsbooks.

For the second weekend of betting action, as many as four sportsbooks might be operating. Boyd Gaming hopes to get licensing for its two Mississippi casinos, IP Casino in Biloxi and Sam’s Town in Tunica, in early August. If so, then Sam’s Town and IP Casino’s sportsbooks could be taking action on the first full week of NFL preseason football.

How Mississippi Legalized Sports Betting

The August 1 opening comes 10 days after the start of legal sports betting in Mississippi, which legally went into effect on July 22. Mississippi is the third US state, behind only Delaware and New Jersey, to have legalized single-game sports bets since the US Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) on May 14.

PASPA banned sports betting in 46 US states, while grandfathering in various types of sports wagers in 4 other states. Only Nevada had full sports betting, while Oregon, Montana, and Delaware had “sports lotteries” — essentially parlay wagers on 3 or more games at a time. Players prefer betting on single game action, because winning one sports betting proposition at a time is hard enough.

12 Gulf Coast Sportsbooks

Eventually, all 12 Gulf Coast casinos say they plan to offer sports betting. Bookmakers say that sportsbooks have a small margin (maybe 4%), so the take on sports gambling is not that high compared to other casino games. What sports betting does is bring customers into the casino, because there are a lot more sports fans in the United States than pure gamblers.

While making sports bets and watching the schedule of games on the sportsbooks’ suite of LCD television sets, players might decide to wager on other games in the casino. Even if they don’t, sports bettors might decide they like the atmosphere and return many times throughout the year. Sports betting is thus a potential showcase for the 12 Gulf Coast casinos.