CHOCTAW, Miss. (WTOK) - Just a few months after the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports gambling, and not long after Mississippi officially legalized it, sports betting is officially open for business here in East Mississippi.
On Thursday morning, the Golden Moon Hotel and Casino officially opened its new Sportsbook at Timeout Lounge at the Pearl River Resort, welcoming sports bettors to wager on college and professional sporting events while at the resort.
"This is just like game day for a football player" said Neal Atkinson, the director of Table Games at Pearl River Resort. "I woke up this morning ready for this to happen, and it's just a beautiful thing to see."
The Sportsbook features a betting booth with traditional in-person wagering, with screens behind it displaying odds on various sporting events. The lounge also includes a bar with 20 TV's behind it for viewing.
"Ever since the announcement was made, we've gotten phone calls, we have gotten questions, we've got people stopping by" Atkinson said. "Everybody was waiting for this day to come."
The first bet was placed this morning by Hickory resident Eric Johannsen, betting on the New Orleans Saints to win Super Bowl 53.