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It’s an ongoing battle in Mississippi, whether residents should have access to mobile sports betting from anywhere in the state or if that would cause a competitive disadvantage to the retail casinos that already exist there.
But ignoring a technology that would make wagering easier for Hospitality State bettors might not be the best big picture move for Mississippi, so lawmakers have been searching for a way to make both sides happy.
That answer could come in the form of the proposed bill being planned by Casey Eure, the chair of the House Gaming Committee, who recently told Biloxi TV station WLOX that he is currently working on legislation to give casinos access to mobile sports betting apps.
Rep. Eure says his goal is to “make sure we can protect our bricks and mortar,” meaning the existing 36 casinos and pari-mutuel facilities which are spread out across 13 cities throughout Mississippi, businesses that have already invested millions of dollars creating a lucrative market.
The solution for making everyone happy, it would seem, is a concept called ‘tethering.’
To prevent online sportsbooks from launching independently as direct competitors to existing casinos, the legislation that Rep. Eure has in mind would require any mobile sportsbook in Mississippi to partner up with a land-based casino, a concept known as ‘tethering.’
It turns out versions of those partnerships already exist in the Magnolia State, with most of the big US sports betting names we are familiar with – BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook – already running retail books in that state.
Except those apps are typically geofenced so that they can only be used by those onsite at the casinos, but the new law could allow bettors to place wagers from anywhere in the state so long as that sportsbook is tethered to an existing retail casino.
Bringing that type of mobile betting to Mississippi would allow it to better compete with some of its neighbors like Tennessee, who made mobile sports betting legal back in November 2020.’
Whatever changes in Mississippi mobile sports betting might take place, don’t expect them to happen until 2022.
According to Rep. Eure, his plans are “to pass something out of my committee,” meaning to bring a bill to his House Gaming Committee, by Jan. 1, 2022.
That would allow just a few days for debate since the Mississippi legislature begins its 2022 legislative session on Jan. 4 with plans to adjourn on April 3, 2022.
Whatever the timeline, Rep. Eure wants to make sure his bill takes all parties into account, saying:
When we pass mobile sports betting, we’ll do it the right way.
As Mississippi’s mobile sports betting market continues to evolve, keep checking back for the latest news and updates.
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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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