Mississippi Governor Approves Daily Fantasy Sports Law

by Jim Hall

Governor Phil BryantNew daily fantasy sports law approved by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant.

The list of states that have legalized daily fantasy sports betting in the US continues to grow each month as new states legalize the industry. This week, the governor of Mississippi signed a bill into law that will allow the state to offer DFS contests to players located in the state. House Bill 967 was officially signed into law on Monday by Governor Phil Bryant, making Mississippi the first state in 2017 to pass DFS gaming.

Fantasy Sports Regulation

An article by Legal Sports Report revealed that Bryant had signed the bill into law which gives the regulation of the industry to the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The Commission will be in charge of online fantasy sports as well as contests taking place in a land based gaming venue. The bill was forwarded to the governor on the 2nd of the month and in just two weeks, the bill became law.

Now that the bill has been signed into law, the regulators of the state will be able to issue licensing for daily fantasy sports operators. It is expected that top operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and FantasyDraft will all be interested in obtaining licensing. Licensing for operation has a very low cost in the state, at only $5,000 over a three year time frame.

As part of the new law, the state regulator will be conducting a background check on operators. An annual audit will also have to be completed by operators by an outside source. Daily fantasy sports operators of Mississippi will be paying an 8% tax on gaming revenues, which is also a low cost when compared to regulations in other states. Most states have a double digit tax in place so operators are actually getting off easy in Mississippi. The legislation also states that employees are banned from playing at their operators sites and any participant must be 18 years of age or older to take part.

Moving Forward

Mississippi was considered a tough state when it came to trying to see daily fantasy sports contests legalized and the subject gained importance after the Attorney General of the state, Jim Hood, decided that fantasy sports were considered a game of chance.

The state can certainly benefit from the revenues that can be earned with daily fantasy sports contests. DFS has been able to provide several states with additional revenues. Sports fans enjoy taking part in daily fantasy sports contests as they can choose their favorite players or the individuals they feel will help their team win the contests during sporting events. Overall, the annual tax on DFS is expected to bring in $5 million to the state.

The $5 million is a large amount and many analysts feel this might be an overly optimistic estimate. Even if the industry would be able to bring in a few million dollars, the budget for the state is actually over $6 billion so only a dent will be made in efforts to bring cash to the state.

Now that Mississippi has been able to legalize daily fantasy sports gaming, eyes have shifted to the state of Texas. It is believed that Texas will be the next state that focuses on DFS and a legislative battle will be in the works. Only time will tell if Texas will join Mississippi as a state that offers legalized DFS contests, or which state will become the next to join the list of areas that provide the contest option in a legalized and regulated setting.