Online Mississippi sports betting legislation conclued a busy few days by clearing the state House.
On Thursday, the House sent an online Mississippi sports betting bill, House Bill 774, to the Senate, 97-14. That came just days after Rep. Casey Eure introduced the bill Monday and promptly guided it through the House Gaming Committee Tuesday.
Before the session, some industry stakeholders viewed Mississippi as one of the most likely states to pass online sports betting legislation. Sports betting in the Magnolia State launched in 2018, with in-person sportsbooks and apps within the geofenced casino properties.
Mississippi online sports betting licenses
Eure’s bill allows the 26 Mississippi casinos to expand online sports betting outside their properties. Each casino could partner with one sports betting operator.
Eure amended the bill Thursday to change the bill to a 12% tax on revenue, with all of the funds going to a statewide emergency road and bridge repair fund. The bill previously carried an 8% tax at the state level and a 4% local municipality tax in jurisdictions with a licensed casino.
“I’ve heard your concerns and feel this will benefit everyone in this chamber and all Mississippians,” he said.
Concerns moving forward in Mississippi
Throughout three Mobile Online Sports Betting Task Force meetings last fall, there were concerns the online industry could negatively affect local casinos. One industry source said they believe independent casino operators will “do everything in their power to keep actual online sports betting from passing.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to work together because there is opposition within the Republican majority. Because of the detractors, another source was concerned vocal opponents during an election year could cause problems for an issue that requires bipartisan support.
“It feels like there’s a lot of work to be done in the Senate,” one source said.
The session runs through May 5.
Making quick work in Mississippi
Lawmakers amended Eure’s sports betting bill last year to establish the Mobile Online Sports Betting Task Force. He said he used the information from the task force to build his proposal this year.
The 2024 legislative session started January 2. After Monday’s introduction, lawmakers wasted no time pushing the sports wagering legislation through the House.
Aside from Eure’s legislation, two other lawmakers filed bills this session.
Adding to Mississippi sports betting
In-person sportsbooks opened in 2018. Casinos can also operate sports betting apps within their geofenced properties.
Since 2018, sportsbooks have taken $2.5 billion in wagers, generating $281.2 million in revenue.
The state has collected $33.7 million in taxes.