Daily fantasy sports company FanDuel is set to expand its sports betting footprint with its entry into Mississippi’s regulated betting market. Under a partnership between the company and gaming and hospitality operator Boyd Gaming, the latter company will rebrand the sportsbook at its IP Casino Resort in Biloxi as FanDuel Sportsbook.
The sports betting facility debuted on August 3, shortly after the legalization of wagering on professional and college sports in the state of Mississippi. The planned rebrand of the sportsbook is set to be celebrated on Thursday. Michael Lewis, Derland Moore, Dalton Hilliard, and Marcus Dupree, the former New Orleans Saints stars who all hail from Mississippi, will attend the ceremony and will place the first four bets at the new FanDuel Sportsbook.
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The IP Casino sportsbook is the first one that will be operated jointly by Boyd and FanDuel as a result from the two companies’ agreement. Under its terms, Boyd will have its 29 properties across 10 states connected with FanDuel’s 8 million customers across 45 states. The deal also extends to another gaming and hospitality giant – MGM Resorts International, which owns the Beau Rivage & Resort in Mississippi.
The IP Casino sportsbook will feature FanDuel branding and signs all over. Matt King, CEO of the FanDuel Group, told local news outlet Sun Herald that they would look to provide bettors with sufficient information so that they make intelligent bets and create comfortable experience for both casual and more sophisticated sports fans.
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Boyd Gaming will continue running the rebranded FanDuel Sportsbook. The company has more than four decades of sports betting experience, mainly in Nevada, where wagering remained legal after the implementation of the PASPA act, the long-standing federal ban on betting on professional and collegiate sports leagues.
The Phenomenon of College Football
Speaking to local media, Mr. King pointed to one particularly important advantage that Mississippi currently possesses. The state is the only one to provide sports betting in the South and in the Southeastern Conference college football league region.
According to the FanDuel CEO, people would be drawn to visit Mississippi to bet on college football, just as they had been drawn to visit Nevada when the state was the only one to offer full-fledged sports betting services.
IP Casino officials revealed that in the first few weeks of college and professional football and of sports betting at the gambling venue, activity has been heavier on Saturdays than on Sundays. In comparison, betting action in Las Vegas has always been at its peak on Sundays throughout the football season.
Mr. King pointed out that the trend in Mississippi would probably remain the same and betting would be peaking on Saturdays due to the fact that college football has a massive following in the state.
FanDuel made its first foray into regulated US sports betting in New Jersey, where it launched a sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack on July 14. It later on rolled out a mobile app to complement its offering at the racetrack.
Unlike New Jersey where bettors can wager via their mobile devices anywhere in the state, in Mississippi mobile betting will only be allowed at casino premises. State regulators are yet to release rules and regulations in relation to the provision of mobile betting and it is yet to be announced when this type of service will be available at the state’s gambling venues.
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