April 11 Deadline Set for Mississippi Mobile Sports Betting

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Apr/03/2024

  • Non-revenue bills that originate in the House must be passed no later than April 11.

  • HB 774 allows for casinos to partner with a single vendor while vendors can partner with multiple casino operators.

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Despite some initial momentum, the Magnolia State has been slow to move into the mobile sports wagering space.  But 2024 represents the closest the state has come to offering the activity online.   

Last year, The Mississippi Mobile-Online Sports Betting Task Force was established to debate and review the prospect of legalization but there didn't appear to be much of an appetite especially with some casino operators fearing cannibalization.

On Tuesday, HB 774 was passed by the Mississippi Senate Gaming Committee.  The measure requires online sites to partner with one of the land-based Mississippi casino operators. The casinos are only permitted to partner with a single wagering platform (i.e. DraftKings or FanDuel) whereas the platforms can partner with more than one casino.

Sportsbooks will be taxed up to a 12% rate on adjusted gross revenue with the proceeds would be allocated toward an emergency road and highway repair fund.

But time appears to be the only obstacle standing in the way, and it's crunch time if Mississippi wants to become the next USA sports betting state to go mobile.

Senate Gaming Committee Chairman David Blount says there is ongoing dialog but the 11th is fast approaching.  As of Friday afternoon April 5, no new news out of Mississippi...just crickets.

“If people are talking, it’s a good thing. We want to continue to let them do that. We want to continue to move the bill along,” said Blount during Tuesday’s committee meeting. “There are a lot of issues that we need to consider from the perspective of the industry and also from the perspective of the consumer that we will do if we get to the point where we might be able to get something done this year.”

Lawmakers have until April 11 to pass HB 774 through the full Senate.  Though the legislative session ends on May 5, the full senate must act on any non-revenue bills that originated in the house by the April 11 date.

The irony all of this is that Mississippi became one of the very first states to regulate sports gambling after the Supreme Court declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in 2018.

What PAPSA did was to limit sports gambling to just a handful of states with only Nevada taking full advantage over a quarter of a century. Effective May of 2018, each state was now free to chart its own path to sports betting.  Well over half have since legalized the activity though some only allow retail sports gambling.  Mississippi is among those that only allow bet on sports in designated casinos. One can only place wagers via their mobile devices while on the casino property.

The news could be worse.  Neighbor Alabama is void of any sports betting at a time when its Crimson Tide team was heading to the Final Four. Alabama lawmakers failed to get through sports betting legislation last month.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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