Mississippi Online Sports Betting Makes Progress, Passes House Bill 774

Legislation to pass online sports betting in Mississippi made progress on Tuesday as the state Senate’s Gaming Committee passed House Bill 774. However, the committee amended the bill to remove online sports wagering sections, which was previously referred to as the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act. 

The Senate now has till April 11 to participate in a floor vote on HB 774. The timing of the passage of this bill will ensure that legalizing online sports betting in the state this year remains a possibility.

Related Pages: Mississippi Sports Betting | Sports Betting Apps | Sportsbook Promos

What Is House Bill 774?

After the US Supreme Court’s historic decision to strike down PASPA, Mississippi was the third state in the country to launch sports betting. That started with retail sports betting at existing casinos back in Aug. 2018.

Betting using mobile applications is also allowed in the state, but this can only be done at the site of a retail location. HB 774 paves the way to create a framework for Mississippi to legalize online sports betting from any location.

According to the content of HB 774, the bill is “an act to create the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act; to provide definitions for the act; to provide that “online race book” and “online sports pool” betting shall be legal in this state; to require a platform that operates an online sports pool or online race book to a manufacturer’s and distributor’s license; to authorize licensed gaming establishments to contract with no more than one platform; to provide that a platform shall only accept wagers from players located in Mississippi; to impose a fee on the gross revenue of a licensed gaming establishment, including a platform that operates an online sports pool, online race book or both on behalf of the holder of a gaming license.”

HB 774 was first referred to the Gaming Committee towards the end of February but had stalled with almost no action till this week. “All I’m doing is trying to give another product to our casino industry in our state to stay competitive,” Casey Eure, author of HB 774, said in February. “And I feel like that’s what we’re doing.”

According to the previous version, retail casinos could sign a partnership with an online sportsbook to offer mobile betting, with the subsequent revenues taxed at 12%.

“There are a lot of issues that we need to consider from the perspective of the industry and also from the perspective of the consumer that we will do if we get to the point where we might be able to get something done this year,” Committee Chairman David Blount said on Tuesday. “But in the meantime, we certainly don’t want to stop people from listening to each other and working.”

Online Sports Betting Needed To Progress

It is hardly any surprise that Mississippi’s revenue numbers have dipped in the last few months without the ease of access to online sports betting. Across the first two months of 2024, sports betting handle has dropped to $76 billion, down more than 20% year-on-year.

In 2023, casinos faced a sharp drop in revenue for sports wagering, with profits down more than 15% year-over-year. Sports betting handle was also down double-digits with an 11% dip in accepted wagers in Mississippi. HB 774 is a natural progression to correct the dips in these trajectories for Mississippi.

In December last year, an online sports betting task force was set up to undertake an analysis of all matters related to online betting in Mississippi. The co-chairs of this task force were Chairman of the Senate Gaming Committee David Blount and Chairman of the House Gaming Committee Casey Eure.

According to this report, “If Mississippi followed states such as Indiana and Iowa, the adoption of online sports betting would result in increased sports betting revenues, at least for online providers, as more participants partook in sports betting. However, because

Mississippi’s neighboring states (excluding Alabama) have adopted online sports betting, Mississippi’s revenue growth will likely be less than Indiana and Iowa as Mississippi will benefit less from out-of-state participation.

“Mississippi faces online sports betting competition from neighboring states Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee, while attracting retail sports bettors from Alabama. In its State of the States 2023 report, the American Gaming Association stated Mississippi’s sports betting market suffered a decline in annual revenue in 2022 of 7.7%, as retail and online sports wagering launched in Louisiana.”

About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

Get connected with us on Social Media