Mississippi was one of the first states to legalize sports betting, but only at brick and mortar casinos.
That could change.
Casey Eure, chair of the House Gaming Committee, told WTOK-11 lawmakers are “close” to making a change.
”When we pass mobile sports betting, we’ll do it the right way. I think we’re close,” Eure told the station in an interview posted over the weekend.
Sports Betting Profits In Mississippi Shrinking
The Magnolia State requires bets to be placed at a casino. But the state’s profits are taking a hit because Tennessee allows mobile betting and Louisiana is not far behind. Right now, fans of the MGM brand, for example, can download and register for the BetMGM app in Mississippi but they need to visit an MGM-owned casino in order to actually place a bet on the app. This means a visit to the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica to actually wager.
With mobile betting permitted in Tennessee, ”the Tunica market took an immediate hit of 25% of their local market and I tell you right now, the numbers for September, $250 million were wagered in the state of Tennessee just in September,” MGM Vice President Anthony Delvescovo told the station.
”With Louisiana coming on line we can expect the same declines in the river counties, the gulf coast counties, Alabama is another state talking about it heavily.”
The latest figures from the Mississippi Gaming Commission showed the state saw a 4.9% drop in bets for the month of September.
Mississippi Sports Betting Could Launch In 2022
The Mississippi House adjourned for the year in April.
Eure told WTOK lawmakers will have a lot to talk about and work on when they next address the issue. He wants to make sure existing casinos would not be harmed by mobile apps.
“If they want to team up with DraftKings and FanDuel, that’s fine,” said Eure.
Other issues lawmakers will likely address include how the tax revenue will be divided among the various communities.