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Mississippi formed a task force to assess how online sports betting would affect the state, and they submitted their final report. The report aims to predict the impact of online sports betting in the state, which currently remains illegal. While the Magnolia State offers retail sports betting, there continues to be a strong push to make the industry available.
The 99-page report primarily focuses on calculating the revenue from the industry based on a few different tax rates, as well as assessing rules and results from other states in the region. They simulated how the industry would look under several scenarios, giving proponents of sports betting numbers to help support their push.
The most controversial part of the report centered around the effects of online sports betting on Mississippi casinos. Opponents of online sports betting have argued the industry would be devastating for tribal casinos with retail sportsbooks.
“If statewide online sports betting is passed in Mississippi, Island View will lose its retail sports betting business and the ancillary revenue and jobs that go along with it,” Island View Casino Vice President Michael Bruffey stated.
While Bruffey’s feelings are shared by many of the state’s casinos, not all agree with him. Harrah’s Gulf Coast studied Iowa and Maryland, which both launched online betting after retail. They found the damage to the retail sportsbook revenue was minimal.
While the full details of the report are still unknown, it is clear that it will directly impact how the online sports betting debate unfolds in 2023.
The Task Force had members argue on both sides of the issue, mainly focusing on the jobs that retail sportsbooks currently offer. Opponents argue that those jobs will disappear if online sports betting is legalized. Online operators would not be able to replace those jobs; instead, they would claim the revenue that would have been used to pay those employees.
While the report spent a lot of time discussing the issue, they could not come to a consensus on it.
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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