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Biloxi Mayor: Sports betting to increase Coast tourism

Mayor FoFo Gilich (Photo courtesy of the City of Biloxi)

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that had prohibited most states from authorizing sports wagering legal sports betting will soon make its way to Biloxi casinos and bring with it a welcome spike in tourism. 

“Sports betting will probably result in a boost in gaming revenue for our eight casinos, and everyone agrees it will bring more people to our city more often that will increase hotel, restaurant and other tourism sales,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich. “This will be especially helpful in drawing casino visitors during tournaments and championships like March Madness and football bowl and playoff games.”

While the Mississippi Gaming Commission has yet to adopt specific legislation for pari-mutuel and sports betting, it is already allowed under State regulations.

The lifting of the federal ban will expedite the arrival of legal sports betting in Biloxi but it certainly won’t be the first time the city has been a center of sports gambling.

Gilich said that for many decades in the mid-to-late 1900s, several sports betting businesses thrived in Biloxi, even though they operated illegally. Residents and visitors bet regularly on college and pro sports, as well as horse racing around the country.

In addition, Mayor Gilich said that casino insiders have estimated that legal sports betting in Mississippi could be operational by August.

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