Proposed Regulations For Mississippi Sports Betting Already On The Table; Mobile Betting Rules Included

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Mississippi continued its rapid move toward offering sports betting at state casinos with the issuance of draft regulations this week.

The regulations proposed by the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) would set a framework for the state’s 28 casinos to implement sports betting. The public review period lasts just about a month, which would allow the commission to move forward later in June. State officials plan to offer sports betting by late summer, well before the start of football season.

The Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition on sports betting Monday, clearing the way for Mississippi to move forward. The state removed its ban on sports betting through a 2017 bill that legalized daily fantasy sports.

What do the regulations spell out?

Few surprises emerge from the 21-page document that would govern horse racing and sports betting in the Magnolia State. That likely stems from the fact that only existing gaming license holders would be permitted to offer sports betting. These licensees still would need to receive permission from the MGC to start their sportsbooks.

Current legislation and code govern those operations so the need for additional regulation is minimal. Major industry players like MGM and Caesars possess decades of sports betting experience in Nevada and need little new guidance. Bets can be accepted on pro and college sports, as well as the Olympics.

Mobile betting will be allowed, but with severe restrictions. Mississippi law restricts gambling to land-based and water-based operations, so the addition of mobile for sports is not insignificant.

What the rules say about mobile devices

Here’s the breakdown on mobile:

(b) A book shall accept wagers only on its licensed premises, and only at betting stations or kiosks/terminals approved by the Executive Director or through an on-site computerized Wagering system that has been approved by the Executive Director.

However, players will be permitted to wager on their mobile devices within the confines of the casino:

(c) For the purposes of this provision, the approved facility shall include any area located within the property boundaries of the casino hotel facility that the Executive Director determines is legal for gaming. This shall not include parking garages or parking areas of a casino hotel facility.

(d) The Executive Director shall ascertain and ensure, pursuant to rules and regulations issued by the commission to implement mobile gaming pursuant to this provision, that mobile gaming shall not extend outside of the property boundaries of the casino hotel facility authorized for gaming.

That differs from the mobile setup in Nevada. In the Silver State, players go to a sportsbook, set up an account in-person, and then can bet anywhere within the state. In Mississippi, in-person setup still would be required, but without the benefit of off-site wagering.

1. The player shall establish a wagering account through the property where mobile gaming will be conducted, and funds may only be deposited into the wagering account while the player is at the property where gaming is being conducted;

2. Wagers shall only be placed within a facility approved by the Executive Director for mobile gaming; and

3. The Executive Director authorizes the device application for mobile gaming; provided that the Executive Director may establish any additional or more stringent licensing and other regulatory requirements necessary for the proper implementation and conduct of mobile gaming as authorized herein.

You can read the full set of regulations here.