Pearl River Resort in Choctaw, Mississippi has become the Magnolia State’s latest casino resort to launch a sportsbook following the mid-May annulment of the federal ban on sports betting and the recent legalization of the activity in Mississippi.
The property, owned and operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, held on Thursday a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its sports betting facility, the newest addition to its existing gambling products. The launch of the sportsbook comes shortly after the Choctaw Gaming Commission approved new sports betting regulations to give Pearl River Resort the green light to operate a wagering facility. It is also important to note that the sportsbook is the first tribal one to be launched outside Nevada since the recent US Supreme Court ruling that lifted a long-standing ban on wagering on sports.
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The sportsbook is located at the recently launched Timeout Lounge at Gold Moon Casino at the Choctaw-based resort. The facility features 20 televisions, three wagering stations that make it possible for customers to place in-person bets, a bar with charging stations for mobile devices, 12 odds boards displaying games and scores, and different other amenities.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians confirmed plans to launch mobile betting that will allow visitors of Pearl River Resort to place bets anywhere on casino grounds.
Mississippi was the third state to legalize and launch sports betting after Delaware and New Jersey. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and Gold Strike Casino in Tunica were the first two casino properties to go live with sportsbooks. The two MGM-owned gambling venues launched their wagering facilities on August 1.
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It is important to note that Mississippi is currently at a great advantage as it is the only state in the southeastern part of the United States where sports betting is legal and already offered by local gambling venues. Neighboring states are discussing the legalization of wagering on professional and collegiate sports leagues, but it will not be before next year that actual steps will be taken in that direction. And by that time, Mississippi will have gained quite some momentum and experience to be able to react to competition adequately.
Friendly Laws Make It Possible for Tribes to Join the Sports Betting Mix
Mississippi’s tribes are able to offer sports betting (and so quickly after the legalization of the activity in the state) due to its existing compact with the state. It is first important to note that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, federally recognized tribes are allowed to offer Class III gambling products (sports betting included) as long as the state they reside in permits such products.
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In addition, the existing compact between Mississippi’s tribes and the state explicitly allows the provision of Class III gambling services.
As mentioned above, Pearl River Resort is looking to launch mobile betting on property. However, unlike other states where mobile betting will be available even off-property, Mississippi betting customers will only be able to place wagers via their mobile devices only while they are at the gambling property.
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