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Two sports betting bills were introduced in the Mississippi House of Representatives over the last two weeks. Both aim to expand online sports betting in the Magnolia State, which is currently limited to casino grounds.
The first bill is HB 271, introduced by Rep. Cedric Burnett last week. The other is HM 635, which Rep introduced. Jay McKnight. Both bills would allow online sports betting throughout the state and impose a unique tiered tax system for operators. Each online sportsbook would be taxed depending on its revenue, meaning smaller operations will be taxed less than the larger ones.
The state is expected to have a third sports betting bill submitted soon from Mississippi Rep Case Eure. Republicans led an effort to legalize the industry last year, which led to the creation of the Mississippi Mobile Online Sports Betting Task Force. The group was created to gather information and recommend expanding online sports betting.
The task force met thrice last year, allowing sports betting proponents and opponents to voice their opinions. The group published a 90+ page report of their findings and estimated the state could see over $27 million in tax revenue over the next few years.
Not all members of the task force were in favor of expanding online sports betting. Several members representing the state’s casinos have expressed fears that changing the current law would damage their revenue. All online sports betting in Mississippi must be done while on casino grounds.
“The Mississippi gaming market operates on low margins.” Island View Casino’s Michael Bruffey wrote in the task force’s final report. “Anything that will reduce or lessen our revenues will harm our businesses, and it will harm Mississippi. To state it succinctly, statewide online sports betting will reduce our revenue, it will reduce jobs, and it will harm Mississippi,”
There are 28 dockside and land-based casinos currently operating in Mississippi.
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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