Mississippi sports betting was legalized in 2018 but currently, Magnolia state residents who wish to wager on sporting events must be on a casino property to place a bet. That could change soon.
SB2732, which is authored by Republican Sen. Philip Moran of District 46, aims to allow Mississippi residents to make sports bets using personal computers or mobile devices from anywhere in the state with a percentage of the operators’ profits going to the state in the form of taxes.
Said Sen. Moran:
“Every day millions of Americans in 15 states have access to state-of-the-art mobile sportsbooks, allowing them to place bets on their favorite teams and leagues at home while fostering much-needed tax revenue. Unfortunately, Mississippi law does not authorize online sports betting, but this bill seeks to change that. Mississippi has been leaving money on the table by not authorizing online sports wagering, and it is time to modernize Mississippi’s gambling offerings and do what’s best for Mississippians.”
Pandemic Affecting Budget, Casino Industry
Three mobile sports gaming bills failed last year while one died in 2019. However, with the coronavirus pandemic affecting the state’s budget and the casino industry as well, Sen. Moran believes that this year is the right time for Mississippi to be up to date in the field of sports betting.
Sen. Moran, who serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Gaming Committee, also noted the prevalence of illegal and offshore online betting sites across the country which deprives the state of tax revenues and does not offer consumer protection with regards to responsible gaming and secure payments.
Several Mississippi casinos offer sports betting apps but are forced by state law to geofence those betting apps around their property. Moran’s online Mississippi sports betting bill would lift that restriction while also allowing Mississippians to use national-based online sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Currently, a total of 14 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized online sports betting in their jurisdiction. With neighboring state Tennessee joining that group and earning an additional $2M in revenue from online sports betting since rolling out that option last November, Moran believes that the time is right for Mississippi to join the fray.