Just How Close Are We To Mississippi Sports Betting?

Posted on July 20, 2018

Mississippi sports betting will wait at least another week as casinos and regulators prepare for launch.

State law allows existing gaming license holders to run a sportsbook with approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC). The agency lists 28 current gaming license holders on its website.

Who wants to offer Mississippi sports betting?

To date, 14 Mississippi casinos have applied to start legal sports betting operations.

Here is the list of Mississippi casinos that submitted requests to offer sports betting as of Friday:

  • Beau Rivage
  • Gold Strike
  • Harrah’s
  • Horseshoe
  • IP Casino
  • Sam’s Town
  • Hollywood Gulf Coast
  • Boomtown
  • Hollywood Tunica
  • Resorts Tunica
  • Jackpot Casino
  • Golden Nugget Biloxi
  • Palace Casino
  • Hard Rock Biloxi

When will Mississippi sports betting launch?

Weeks ago, MGM Resorts tweeted that its sports betting operations in the state would launch July 21. The company quickly deleted the tweet and walked back from that announcement.

State regulators told Legal Sports Report earlier this week that Mississippi sports betting will not launch this weekend. There is “a lot of work still going on” to prepare for the start throughout the state, according to one official.

Assuming the Magnolia State completes its preparations this month, it will become the third state to activate legal sports betting after the repeal of PASPA. Both Delaware and New Jersey began their operations in June.

Mississippi legislators looked into the future

Mississippi changed its state law last year in anticipation of the US Supreme Court decision to end the federal prohibition on sports betting. It did so by removing a prohibition on sports wagering within a bill legalizing daily fantasy sports in the state.

The state approved regulations governing legal sports betting last month, with few changes from originally proposed draft rules.

Those regulations include limited mobile gambling options for sports bettors. Mississippi sports betting will be permitted only at physical sportsbook locations or via mobile smartphone apps within an approved casino.

That means sports bettors must be located on the property of a land- or water-based casino in order to wager. A bettor could place a wager while at a casino’s restaurant, for example, but not while in the parking garage.

A special session on tap?

Mississippi’s law on sports betting will not change if a special session happens. The only way sports betting will make the agenda would be to deal with how the tax revenue generated by it is distributed.

Mississippi sports betting revenue will be taxed at 12 percent, the same rate as other gaming revenue. The revenue breaks out at eight percent for the state and four percent for local governments.

Sports betting revenue currently routes into the state’s general fund. Some lawmakers would like to direct that money to pressing infrastructure needs, among other projects.

Governor Phil Bryant indicated the possibility of a special session, but did not yet call for one.

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Adam Candee

Adam Candee is the managing editor of Legal Sports Report. He covers sports business and news from Las Vegas, where he works as a sports radio host for ESPN and VSiN. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun, and KLAS-TV. He can be reached at [email protected]

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