Southland Casino Racing scores big on Super Bowl Sunday

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — All bets were on at Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis Super Bowl Sunday.

The casino told FOX13 it had one of its busiest weekends so far this year after debuting its retail book for sports betting.

Travel was a big selling point for bettors who would have to travel to Tunica to bet on games. Now that Southland started sports betting, people who live closer don’t have to make the trip to Mississippi, unless they want to.

While the Kansas City Chiefs are fresh off their victory, some bettors in the Mid-South at Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis found themselves victors as well Sunday night.

“I can’t tell you how much, but they were some very happy people.”

President and General Manager David Wolfe spoke with FOX13 in the sports lounge at the casino concerning the turn out leading up to the big game.

Just last week the casino announced it would debut sports betting. Wolfe told FOX13 visitors had 150 different ways to make a bet.

“What was the score at half time? Who is the MVP? There were a lot of ways that people could win money,” he said.

The legalization of sports betting happened back Sept. 2018 and Wofle said since then people have been asking the casino to offer the service. The only other alternative to bet on the games was driving about an hour to Tunica. Wofle said he attributes the influx of people and a 50% rise in food and beverages to how convenient it is now to make bets.

“People said they didn’t want to go down to Tunica any longer because it is a long ride. A lot of people are very happy, we had a lot of new faces here. We had one of our busiest weekends in the last several weeks,” Wolfe said.

Southland Casino Racing told FOX13 it plans to keep live sports betting going throughout various sports seasons as it prepares for its expansion in September. A new hotel will follow four months later, adding 400 jobs to the area. Wolfe said though he can’t give out last week’s numbers, the casino is expecting more people to place bets in West Memphis, now that people don’t have to go out of their way.

“We had very good action. As far as the volume of business -- you can bet on college basketball, NBA basketball, and some other things and that’s a significant part of the wages we take in at this time of the year. Over approximately 60% of the bets from this past week were on the Super Bowl and it was a lot heavier on Friday and Saturday,” Wolfe said.

March Madness is the next big event and the casino told FOX13 people are already making their bets.