Mobile Sports Betting Bills Introduced in Mississippi

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Mobile Sports Betting Bills Introduced in Mississippi
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Mississippi online sportsbooks could be a reality if any of the newly introduced bills are approved at the Capitol in Jackson. Should that happen, Mississippi would be the second Gulf Coast state to legalize online sports betting. Louisiana went live in January 2022.

Three Bills Up For Consideration  

This week, three bills have been introduced at the state House of Representatives to legalize online sports betting. They are:

  • House Bill 606 by Rep. Casey Eure, R-Saucier
  • House Bill 708 by Rep. Cedric Burnett, D-Tunica
  • House Bill 864 by Rep. Jay McKnight, R-Gulfport

Jay McDaniel, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, told on Wednesday he is unsure if the bills will “go any further” than the introduction phase. The session began on Jan. 3 and is set to end on April 3.

On-Site Sports Betting Allowed At State’s Casinos

McDaniel previously told that mobile sports betting bills have failed in the past partly because some casino operators are concerned customers won’t visit the resort if they can use phones or computers to place bet from home or elsewhere.

Currently, 26 commercial casinos are operating in Mississippi. Of those, 12 are along the Gulf Coast. The state's casinos have on-site sportsbooks and Las Vegas-style table games and slots, in addition to restaurants and other amenities.

Two commercial casinos in Mississippi offer on-site mobile sports wagering, requiring customers to be somewhere on the property when placing a bet. 

These casinos are Beau Rivage in Biloxi and the Gold Strike in Tunica. Both are MGM Resorts properties using the BetMGM Sportsbook app. Tribal casinos also have on-site mobile sports betting, McDaniel said. Off-site mobile sports betting is illegal in Mississippi.

Jerry Jones Touts Legal Wagering in Texas

Currently, Louisiana is the only state among five along the Gulf Coast with legal off-site mobile sports wagering. The Gulf Coast states are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

In Texas, where the Legislature now is meeting in Austin, a measure has been introduced to legalize sports betting and commercial casinos in the largest cities. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has voiced support for legal wagering in the state, noting that Texas would benefit from gaming revenue as is the case with surrounding states that have legal wagering.

However, the effort to approve gambling in Texas is not a sure bet, according to Jim McIngvale, a multimillion-dollar sports bettor known as Mattress Mack. The Houston furniture store owner told he doubts gaming will be legalized in the near future because of opposition from religious groups.

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Larry Henry

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