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For almost three and a half years, Mississippi has had lucrative legal sports betting market up and running, but resident bettors are required to place their wagers in person at one of the Magnolia State’s 36 casinos and pari-mutuel facilities located in 13 different cities or by using a mobile app that only works on-location.
So far in 2022, five mobile sports betting bills have been introduced to the state legislature, each hoping to address and solve the issues at hand that are preventing online sports betting option to be signed into law, the biggest one being the perceived financial threat to the state’s existing casinos.
These five proposed Mississippi sports betting bills are:
Adding a mobile option for Mississippi sports bettors has been a priority for some state lawmakers, no doubt based on how it could increase the state’s total handle and in turn increase tax revenue, as evidenced in the many states that have both in-person and online sports gambling available.
Once such lawmaker is Representative Cedric Burnett.
Since retail sports betting launched in Mississippi back in August 2018, bettors have responded by showing up to casinos and pari-mutuels in droves spending millions of dollars placing bets, but as Rep. Burnett makes clear more gamblers would partake in that market if the mobile option was available for them to use, as well.
Rep. Burnett’s makes it clear that mobile betting’s ease of accessibility makes it a popular option in all the states that already use it and that it would encourage more Mississippi sports fans to place wagers, telling the press:
“The thought is, it’s a convenience. It’s just that simple, I don’t gamble a lot. It’s inconvenient for me to go to the casino to actually make the sports bet, but to be honest with you, I will bet if I had the opportunity to on my cellphone. I have it with me all the time. It just makes sense.”
And the longer Mississippi waits, the more money it continues to lose to neighboring states who make both options legally available.
What Rep. Burnett and others are boldly facing is the reality that if Mississippi won’t give its resident gamblers a mobile option, the states surrounding them will, with those online markets already launched and pulling Hospitality State gamblers seeking virtual convenience over the state line.
Currently, Tennessee has had mobile betting since Nov. 2020, Louisiana since January, and Arkansas looks like it could be next, all viable mobile options for those bettors living close to the edge of the state.
While none of the Mississippi bills have advanced past the initial introductory stage, they will be debated upon in the upcoming weeks before they can advance further, so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
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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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