Gov. Tate Reeves receives a bill for a study on sports betting in Mississippi.

Progress was made this week in the Mississippi legislature to officially approve a study on online sports betting.

Jun 11, 2024
2 min read
The Gold Strike BetMGM Sportsbook during its first day in business on Aug. 1, 2018. Mississippi...
The Gold Strike BetMGM Sportsbook during its first day in business on Aug. 1, 2018. Mississippi sports betting remains limited to in-person wagering at the state’s riverboats and brick-and-mortar casinos.


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Gov. Tate Reeves receives a bill for a study on sports betting in Mississippi.

Online sports betting takes a step forward in Mississippi as House Bill 606 gains traction in the state's capital.

This January,Representatives Casey Eure (R-Harrison) and Kevin Felsher (R-Harrison) introduced HB606, aimed at launching a study on the best ways to allow online sportsbooks. Eure, who serves as the chair of the state House Gaming Committee, co-authored the bill.

HB606 proposes creating a Mobile Sports Betting Tax Force composed of 11 members. Among these are the Mississippi Gaming Commission's executive director or a representative, the Mississippi Department of Revenue commissioner or a representative, and the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association's executive director or a representative.

Five of the remaining positions in the task force would be filled by legislators chosen by the chairs of the Senate Gaming Committee and the House Gaming Committee. The last two seats would be reserved for the House Gaming Committee chair and the Senate Gaming Committee chair, who would co-chair the task force.

The bill made its way through the House in February and received adjustments in the Senate Gaming Committee in March. On the 8th of March, the Senate gave its approval for the study to begin. The House followed by approving the amendments on the 8th of March as well, through a unanimous vote.

Online Sports Betting Expansion

Supporters of HB606 hope that the measure lays the groundwork for sports bettors to place wagers digitally from anywhere within the state.

If Governor Tate Reeves (R) signs the bill into law, the committee will be entrusted with assessing whether having online sports betting is beneficial for the state. If found favorable, the committee will then propose tax rates, licensing fees, and application procedures for lawmakers.

The committee will also decide whether in-person registration for an online sportsbook account would be necessary.

The state has already legalized sports betting, but it can only be done on a casino's premises, whether a riverboat or a land-based establishment.

In 2018, when the Supreme Court ruled that the legality of sports betting should be decided by the states, Mississippi became one of the first to launch casino-based sports betting. This began at MGM Resorts' Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Gold Strike Casino in Tunica.

However, the 2018 regulations implemented by the Mississippi Gaming Commission only allow for online betting when a player is physically on casino property. This has prevented most casinos from launching their own online sportsbook platforms, with only Gold Strike Tunica, Beau Rivage, and Treasure Bay in Biloxi offering mobile betting within their premises.

Early Details

Alongside establishing the task force's size, the revised HB606 being sent to Reeves demands that the committee conduct its study as quickly as possible and submit its report to the legislature by October 15, 2023.

The report must be made accessible to the public and its members will serve without compensation.

MSPEER, Mississippi's Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, would have until mid-January to examine the sports betting report and provide its own synopsis. The Mississippi Legislature would then be responsible for drafting a measure based on these findings, with the possibility of legalizing online sports betting during the 2024 legislative session.

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