The legal US sports betting industry takes on many shapes and sizes in an expanding market. Leading the way are major operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings. Initially launched as daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites, they have each grown rapidly to become the two biggest legal US sportsbooks in the marketplace.
The current system in most of the states offering legal retail and online sports betting involves strategic partnerships between land-based casinos and horse racing tracks with online sportsbook operators.
Nevada casino gaming giants are case in point. MGM Resorts, in a 50-50 partnership with UK-based Entain, owns and operates BetMGM.
Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill, as one of the largest UK-based sportsbook operators. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to role out Caesars Sportsbook as a rebrand of William Hill.
Another Las Vegas gaming giant, Wynn Resorts, formed its own interactive division and rolled out WynnBET in a number of legal US sports betting markets.Jump to
Mississippi Retail Sports Betting
In a refreshing twist on the current make-up of the legal US sports betting industry, a small land-based casino in Mississippi has decided to go it on its own.
Sports betting in Mississippi has been legal for around three years. However, it is limited to retail sportsbooks connected with casino and horse racing facilities. The current laws on the books do not make any provisions for legal online sports betting sites or mobile apps.
Since Mississippi guests and visitors can only bet the games at licensed retail establishments, the various land-based sportsbooks are in high demand.
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Playmakers Sportsbook Makes Its Mark
Magnolia Bluffs Casino in Natchez, Mississippi is a shining example of retail sports betting at its best. While offering legal on-site betting since Day 1, the casino decided to upgrade its retail book to take better advantage of the opportunity.
Known locally as Playmakers, casino management and local city officials were more than excited to show off the updated sports betting venue.
Magnolia Bluffs Casino is owned and operated by Premier Gaming Group. The company’s founder and president is Kevin Preston. He relayed how the initial strategy three years ago was to start small and see where things went from there.
While the sportsbook did extremely well, the location became extremely popular as a destination for sports in general within the town. Seizing this opportunity, Preston recently stated:
“I just wanted to do something that really created a wow factor. We really went in with both feet and did something that created something that’s special in that whole area.”
Another driving force is the fact that neighboring Louisiana is in the process of launching legal sports betting throughout the state.
Staying Independent is Sportsbook’s Key to Success
Playmakers features 40 different televisions to view the games live. The main viewing screen measures 18 feet diagonally. The facility created studio space to host live shows for an ESPN affiliate station in nearby Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
There are separate areas that have expanded dining options as well as private space that can be rented out for special events.
As a small, independent casino, Preston also wanted to run his own sportsbook as opposed to partnering with a national operator. Playmakers works with IGT to operate the in-house PlaySports betting platform.