COVID-19, hurricanes cause Mississippi gaming revenues to fall more than 22% in 2020 Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports · January 20, 2021 at 5:11 am Gaming revenues in Mississippi casinos declined 22.6% in 2020 as areas of the state’s gaming market suffered through both pandemic and weather-related shutdowns. The Mississippi Gaming Commission said Tuesday, gamblers wagered $1.78 billion in the state during 2020, a decline of 22.6% percent, compared to $2.20 billion that was wagered in 2019. Casinos in Mississippi were closed on March 17 because of a state mandate concerning health issues posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They reopened on May 22, but many casinos closed for a few days in September because of Hurricane Sally, and again in late October due to Hurricane Zeta. Casinos in Mississippi’s Coastal Region, which includes Biloxi, Gulfport, and Bay St. Louis, brought in $1.08 billion in revenues in 2020, 60.1% of revenues in the state. However, the figure was a decline of 21.7% from 2019’s $1.31 billion. The Northern Region (Tunica and Lula counties) accounted for $470.2 million in revenues in 2020 compared to $582.5 million in 2019, a decrease of 23.9%. Central Region casinos in Adams, Warren, and Washington counties brought in $244.6 million, down 24.4% percent from 2019’s $304.2 million. The Coastal Region also brought in the most revenue in December 2020 at $108.9 million, a decrease of 5.2% percent from the $114.6 million over the same period in 2019. The Northern Region’s revenue decreased 11.5% percent, from $53.6 million in 2019 to $48.1 million in 2020, and Central Region revenues fell 13.9% percent, from $26.7 million in 2019 to $23.5 million in December 2020. Sports betting, legalized in 2018, remained a popular option for Mississippi gamblers in 2020. The total handle in the state was $363.8 million, a slight decrease of 1.5% from 2019’s $369.1 million. Total revenue was $43.7 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the $44.5 million bet in the previous year. The Coastal Region actually saw a slight increase of 1.6% in sports betting revenues in 2020, with $236.93 million wagered compared to $233.2 million the previous year. The Northern Region’s sports betting revenues fell 11.0%, from $87.3 million in 2019 to $78.7 million in 2020. The Central Region’s sports gambling revenues went from $48.6 million in 2019 to $48.1 million last year, a decline of 1.0%.