Mississippi online sports betting bill heads to Senate
The state of Mississippi edged ever closer to online sports betting legalization with House Bill 606 moving through the Senate and now to the Gaming Committee, which will discuss the bill and have a final vote on its content.
What does Mississippi HB606 say?
The bill was first introduced to legislature in January, where it was ushered through the House with minimum fuss. The Act, introduced by Rep. Eure and Rep. Felsher is defined as follows:
An act to create the mobile-online betting task force; to provide the purposes of the task force; to designate the chairperson and co-chairperson of the task force; to provide for the appointed members to the task force; and for related purposes.
The Mobile-Online Betting Task Force would undertake a ‘competitive analysis’ of all matters relating to legalizing online betting, MS online gaming and/or online wagering for a free within this state and to recommend the proper oversight and regulation.
Should the bill be passed and the task force created, it would be comprised of 11 members. It would be chaired by the House Gaming Committee Chairperson and co-chaired by the Senate Gaming Committee Chairperson.
The other nine appointments would comprise the Executive Director of the gaming commission or a designee, the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue, the Executive Director of the gaming and hospitality association, three appointments from the Chair and three from the co-chair.
Should the bill be enshrined into law, the task force would be appointed within 30 days of enactment and will hold its first meeting within 60 days.
The task force will be responsible for delivering a comprehensive report with details of findings, conclusions and recommendations by October 15, 2023. The report will also then be made pubic.
Wagering on sports in Mississippi has been legal since 2018, but is only possible on retail premises. The state’s commercial casino landscape is made up of 6 landbased casino resorts and 20 riverboat casinos, with the tribes having three operations in the State.
Given the introduction of HB606 offers little to no detail around what online sports betting or online casino in Mississippi would actually look like, it’s difficult to speculate around potential tax rates and economic benefit. Currently, revenue from sports wagering is taxed at he same state and local rates as revenue from traditional games. It’s unlikely that this would remain the case should online legalization come about.
A series of bills introduced in the House and Senate in early 2021 failed to gain any traction once more. Neither the House Bill or the Senate Bill received a vote before the deadline to advance the bill out of committee. There’s more pressure now, though, with neighboring states Louisiana and Arkansas passing broad sports betting legislation.
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