Since sports betting has been tentatively legalized in the United States, following the defeat of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), things have been agog. Proponents have been rejoicing with satisfaction that only helped to tick nay-sayers. Despite the fairly mild climate, the adoption of sports betting has not proven the easy, off-the-cusp affair some have hoped it to be. Not in the slightest.
Mississippi – You Pretty Thing
Mississippi is primed to adopt sports betting. And what better time to push ahead with such an ambitious project than in the anticipation of the new NFL season. Should the plans come to fruition, Mississippi will be the fourth state where sports betting is legalized.
Much rumors have been swirling. By one estimate, casinos in Tunica are now gearing up to start taking sports wagers in August. Additional sources have revealed that the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) was on the verge of finalizing the legalese when it comes to sports betting and effectively allowing some properties to run their sports dens.
However, the news about some form of legalization of the business shouldn’t give everyone the heady excitement the repeal of PASPA did. Instead, Mississippi’s casinos will be treading much, much carefully – and more lightly at that.
The Personal Approach
But apart from expecting a bonanza, we should be realistic. In all likelihood, Mississippi spots operators, i.e. casinos, will only take wagers in person at first. No digitization is anticipated, meaning that the online and mobile segment will be completely off limits. Meanwhile, it has transpired that 28 of the state’s casinos have already fired for a sports betting license, signalling the readiness among the state’s operators to embrace a promising new segment.
Regulators will also have to take pains in order to catch up and study the industry quick. While Nevada has had sports betting for a fair lick now, it’s more than understandable to expect Mississippi to be concerned about keeping everyone in check.
Nevada has been followed by New Jersey (the state that spearheaded the PASPA defeat) and Delaware, which both adopted a sports betting bill. In the case of Delaware, the state is not even as populous as that, but it’s already trying to expand its gambling industry significantly, including through online poker and sports betting.
The Future of the States
Reportedly, 50 states are now deliberating on ways to introduce sports betting as soon as possible, albeit many have given up on the idea for an immediate start, pushing back any potential regulation to 2019.
The enthusiasm with which operators have been preparing themselves to pay for licenses and launch activities is indicatory of an industry that is worth well over $150 billion every year. This is money that usually goes to offshore operators and the losses for states and consumers, even, are whopping.
A united front on the matter of legalizing sports betting will definitely go a long way to help the segment push through.