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Mississippi sports betting expansion continues

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The expansion of sports betting across the US has continued to pick up pace following May’s Supreme Court decision, and Pinnacle Entertainment Ameristar in Vecksburg, Mississippi has become the latest major casino to start accepting sports bets.

The first bet was placed at a ceremony on August 31 by Deuce McAllister, the New Orleans Saints football player, launching Pinnacle’s dedicated sports book facility called the End Zone.

Although the Pinnacle isn’t the first casino venue in the state to open its doors to sports betting, as Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Tunica’s Gold Strike began taking sports wagers on August 1, it holds the distinction of being Mississippi’s largest casino, so represents a significant chunk of the state betting market share.

A gambling state

States across the US have been considering the implications of the Supreme Court decision in the case of Murphy versus the NCAA, which in May found in favour of the State of New Jersey, ruling the 1992 PASPA Act to be unconstitutional. PASPA had effectively banned sports betting outside of the stage of Nevada, so the decision of the Supreme Court has opened the way for all US states to permit intrastate sports betting.

In the lead-up to May’s decision, Mississippi had been more proactive than many states, having last year repealed that section of its legal framework that banned sports betting, and gaming officials in the state had already prepared sports betting regulations.

This enthusiastic embrace of sports betting is not surprising given Mississippi’s reputation as a gambling state, which dates back to the founding of the United States; a time when residents keenly participated in betting on cards games and sports. 

Pinnacle is a significant player in the US gambling market, operating casino venues in nine separate states, and also has an involvement in Retama Park Racetrack at San Antonio, Texas. The company was already offering sports betting to visitors at its Cactus Petes venue, located in Jackpot, Nevada, but is now likely to expand sports betting to its other sites.

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