The Pearl River Resort in Mississippi is the first Indian tribe casino to offer sports betting, with many more set to follow.
Pearl River launch details
In May, the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting, thus allowing individual states to make up their minds on the issue. New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, and Mississippi are among those that have already started to offer sports betting.
Following state legalization in Mississippi, the Pearl River Resort Casino in Choctaw has become the very first Indian tribal casino to offer a sportsbook.
On August 30, the Mississippi Choctaw Indian band, which owns and operates the resort property, held a launch party to promote the offering. The launch was made possible by the Choctaw Gaming Commission’s decision to allow their tribes to offer sports betting.
Apart from tribal casinos in Nevada, which have always been exempt from the federal ban on sports betting, this is the first tribal casino in the country to offer the option.
The offering includes 20 televisions and three areas for gamblers to place their sports bets. The venue also boasts a bar and a dozen boards that showcase the various markets on offer.
The tribe also plans to create an app that will allow punters located on the casino grounds to quickly and easily place sports bets using their mobile devices.
As the only state in the surrounding area to have legalized sports betting to date, Mississippi is are well positioned going forward to take advantage of the hype and popularity surrounding legalization.
Indian tribes and sports betting
Native Americans have been able to offer gambling across the United States without having to show much regard for state laws due to their tribal sovereignty.
The relevant legislation comes under the 1998 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) which allows gambling activities to take place in casinos on tribal land and reservations across the country.
About 240 tribes across 28 different states operate more than 450 gambling operations with total annual revenues of more than $30bn (£23.15bn).
It is a massive economic driver for these tribes – in many states, comprehensive gambling offerings are unavailable outside these establishments.
The IGRA allows tribes to operate these casinos provided they negotiate a Tribal-State compact with the state authorities. Over the years, these compacts have been the source of numerous issues and standoffs.
The tribes still have an exclusive right to all types of gaming, except in states that do not allow a particular class of gambling. The many attempts made to overturn this bill have all ended in failure.
Along with massive revenues, there have also been numerous instances of corruption concerning Native American casino lobbying.
The tribe in Mississippi is now allowed to offer sports betting because the state passed its legalization bill thanks to a Tribe-State compact.
The IGRA also allows tribes to offer Class III gambling products such as sports betting as long as they are permitted in the state where the tribe resides.
The state of Mississippi, for example, forbids mobile offerings, which is why use the Pearl River Resort mobile app is limited to the casino grounds. Of course, elsewhere in the country, mobile offerings can be utilized whether the person is located on the grounds of the casino or not.
While this is the first tribal casino to offer sports betting, it is expected that most of the others will soon follow suit.