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The Mississippi Mobile-Online Sports Betting Task Force convened for the first time last week to prepare for the 2024 legislative session. The meeting focused on expanding online sports betting in Mississippi, which is currently only allowed at tribal casinos. The task force heard arguments for the pros and cons of expansion, which will be considered again in 2024.
State Representative Casey Eure announced he will be introducing a new bill to expand the mobile sports betting industry. Eure has been championing the expansion for some time, including last year when he introduced HB 606.
“I will have a bill that I will introduce. I can’t sit here and tell you that this will pass the House, that I will be able to send it to the Senate. I wanted everyone to understand where I stood from day one,” Eure said at the end of the meeting.
The most prominent topics included the sports betting tax rate, how those funds would be distributed, the licensing process and fees, advertising rules, and how to deal with illegal operators. The group agreed upon a couple of those topics, but the remainder will require further review and debate.
Last week’s meeting is a promising sign, but online sports betting has a ways to go to become legal. The most significant opposition to full legalization are tribal casinos. They have argued that their business would take a massive hit if bettors could wager on sports from the comfort of their own homes. Even if the state required online sportsbooks to partner with the casinos, it would still limit foot traffic on their casino floors.
Another big concern for opponents of the expansion is illegal operators. These include overseas sportsbooks that will often advertise in states where sports betting is legal. Many states allow residents to use these sites, but they do not get involved with any disputes or issues that residents may run into. This is a topic during last week’s meeting, focusing on stricter punishments to discourage rogue operators.
While there are some other more minor concerns, these two questions must be answered if online sports betting has any hope of becoming legal.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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