A new bill in Mississippi will seek to amend the current sports betting legislation and introduce online and mobile betting in the state.
Mississippi Senator Lays Plans for Mobile betting
Mississippi legislators will debate a new bill pitched by Senator Scott DeLane that seeks to legalize online sports betting in the state.
Senate Bill 2396 seeks to authorize online and mobile wagering on sporting contests, building upon an already existing legal framework for sports betting in the state which was passed in August 2018, and became the third state to offer legal sports betting.
According to SB 2396, license holders will be allowed to extend their licenses to cover activities that go beyond land-based wagering and allow registered customers to place wagers remotely, using Mississippi Gaming Commission-approved platforms.
Every license holder will be able to launch a single online sportsbook or one betting website per license. While the bill seeks to amend active legislation, it fails to specify what the licensing fee would cost or what the specific tax paid by online gambling would be.
With this in mind, it’s not very likely to gather much momentum in a state that has already shunned such proposals in the past. Yet, the legislative session could, in theory, approve the bill by July 1 and should the governor sign off, Mississippi could see mobile wagering launched ahead of the next NBA and NFL seasons.
A similar proposal was shot down in 2020 when Rep. Cedric Burnett sought to amend existing sports betting laws and expand it to online and mobile, but the bill eventually died. Burnett has been a staunch supporter of online betting and he filed HB 1481 a year before, in 2019, seeking to once again expand the clout of the state’s gambling industry.
Mississippi Has the Companies to Go Live with Online Wagering
Presently, Mississippi has 30 casino properties across the state, hosting numerous sports betting brands, including William Hill, MGM, IGT, Golden Nugget, Caesars, BetAmerica, FanDuel, DraftKings, and others. All of these brands have a strong online wagering track record in other states across the United States.
Mississippi has been one of the most successful adopters of sports betting in the United States as well. Ahead of the legalization of the industry, lawmakers floated a survey by Global Market Advisors claiming that in-person sports gambling should generate around $180 million in total handle every year.
This number pales with the actual state numbers, in fact, as 2019 saw over $370 million in total handle with $5 million going to the state in tax revenue. The numbers for 2020 are still being processed. Revenue in November hit $8.1 million, which is a 113% increase year-over-year.