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Sixth Mississippi Mobile Sports Betting Bill Proposed to State House
HB-606 has Support of state Gaming Committee Chair, Gives Bettors More Options
Mississippi Legal Sports Betting Has Generated a $1.9B handle, $26M in Tax Revenue
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018 and gave states the right to legalize, regulate, and tax their own sports betting markets, Mississippi was one of the first to jump aboard, that state launching its retail sports betting market in August 2018.
There’s also a mobile option, except here’s the catch – though you can register online to play from anywhere in the state, to place an actual bet using a mobile sportsbook, Mississippi bettors must show up to a licensed casino, a hiccup that state lawmakers have repeatedly tried to fix.
Five times in the past, Magnolia State legislators have proposed bills that outlined ways a mobile market could work in that state, and none were approved, and now according to reporter Lou De Aguila of Golden Casino News (GCN), the latest attempt has been initiated.
The sixth time could be the charm as House Bill 606 (HB-606) makes its way into the debate, it’s purpose, according to GCN, is to “change section 97-33-1 of the Mississippi Code from 1972 to allow bettors to place wagers on sporting events using the internet.”
If passed, HB-606 would make it legal for existing retail locations – meaning land-based casinos – to form “strategic alliances” with a single mobile sportsbook opening up that market to a greater variety of choices.
The latest bill to widen the mobile sports betting market in Mississippi has been reportedly referred to the House Gaming Committee, and its chairperson – Casey Eure – has come out in support of it so that could help to minimize any friction or red tape from that regulatory body.
The Mississippi state legislature began its 2023 regular session starting on January 3 and it is not scheduled to adjourn until the end of May, plenty of time for debates to be had and compromises to be made, all in the hopes of giving area bettors more mobile choices.
Currently, according to GCN, any mobile bets that are made in those retail locations are typically made using apps featured by those casinos, with a goal of HB-606 being to give outside operators a chance to compete for that market.
That’s a move that could increase an already hefty revenue stream.
Many Mississippi bettors have made the trip to the casinos to place their local mobile and in-person bets, that state so far generating a $1.9 billion handle since its launch in 2018, which in turn has created $218.8 million in revenue for those operators involved.
That revenue stream has been taxed and the state has earned over $26 million in tax income from that market, money that prior to legalization was drifting off the books via illegal bookies and unregulated offshore sportsbooks, now reinvested in programs to help those who live there.
There are no pro teams based in Mississippi, however, Ole Miss’s NCAA football team (go Rebels!) is said to draw more fans than some MLB, NBA, and NFL teams, a sign that with easier access to a wider variety of mobile sportsbook options, that market could continue to grow.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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