Mississippi Makes the Fourth Attempt to Legalize Online Sports Betting

Mississippi goes on its fourth run to try and legalize online sports betting after it came close to finalizing the process at the end of 2021. This time, the effort is led by Cedric Burnett, who introduced House Bill 184 on January 4.

House Bill 184 Will Amend the Mississippi Code

The new House Bill proposed by representative Burnett aims to change the Mississippi code and thus, allow online platforms to accept sports bets. Land-based facilities that hold sports betting licenses may be given the green light to offer online sports betting services.

One alternative course of action proposes that an online betting operator may accept bets on behalf of the land-based licensed operator. The only thing that wasn’t covered in House Bill 184 is the limit on the operators that a licensee can team up with, however, the general guide hints out to just one.

This is not the first time Burnett has made an effort to legalize online sports betting. That dates back to 2019 when he introduced House Bill 1481, which did not see the light of the day. Burnett introduced House Bill 172 in 2020, but the bill suffered the same fate as House Bill 1481.

The third effort to legalize online betting in Mississippi was made by Senator Scot DeLane, who sought out to legalize both online and mobile sports betting. But the bill did not receive a hearing in the committee and suffered the same fate as the previous two.

The State’s Gaming Commission Will Play a Vital Role in Online Sports Betting

The gaming commission in Mississippi will be vital to the newly proposed bill on online sports betting as it would have to approve all operators that team up with licensees and thus, receive a distributor and manufacturer license.

Of course, operators that offer online sports betting services will be subject to taxes. The revenue from these activities will be taxed as all other gaming entities in the state. That includes 4% tax for gross revenue of up to $50,000, 6% tax if the revenue is between $50,000 and $134,000 and 8% for operators that have monthly gross revenue that exceeds $134,000.

Back in November, there were some rumors that mobile sports betting was coming to Mississippi in 2022. The chairman of the Gambling Committee, Casey Eure, stated that he hopes to introduce a bill before the start of 2022. He also added that he intends to make sure that brick-and-mortar facilities are protected and do not suffer any revenue losses. Two MGM Resort casinos even applied for a mobile license during the same period.

As for House Bill 184, it has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Gaming Committee.

Online sports betting has caused havoc in this state, even though Mississippi was among the first US states to legalize land-based sports betting in 2018 after the US Supreme Court ruled that PASPA is unconstitutional.

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