Online Mississippi Sports Betting Bill Clears Final Senate Committee

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Mississippi sports betting

A proposal to bring Mississippi sports betting online cleared its final Senate committee, setting it up for a possible floor vote.

The Senate Gaming Committee passed the Mississippi sports betting proposal (HB 774) Tuesday, ahead of the deadline for committees to vote on bills introduced by the other chamber.

It differs slightly from the version passed by the full House in February. That means the House may need to reconcile with the changes should the full Senate pass the bill before it adjourns on April 11. Mississippi was one of the first states to legalize sports betting, though the activity is confined to within state casinos.

Minor changes to Mississippi sports betting bill

The Senate committee added minor regulations for fantasy sports in the bill. It mostly clarifies that people with a conflict of interest in a contest cannot participate. It also makes already widely used age verification software mandatory and places restrictions on the number of entries per player.

The committee also added language to combat the proliferation of gray-market electronic gaming machines.

Bill sponsor Rep. Casey Eure could not immediately be reached for comment, though these changes should be considered minor and are unlikely to affect the bill’s prospects, according to an industry source.

Prime candidate for online betting legislation

Before the session, several 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.

Under the bill, each of the state’s casinos could partner with one online sports betting operator. They would be subject to a 12% tax on revenue dedicated to a statewide emergency road and bridge repair fund.

The minimum age to place a bet online would be 21, the same as it is for in-person betting.