Mississippi Senate Approves Sports Betting Bill With Several Tweaks

HB 774 was passed on April 2 by the Senate Gaming Committee and then scheduled for further approval in a floor vote on April 11.

The scheduled date came on Thursday, the final opportunity for the Senate to review and approve bills originating in the House of Representatives before the conclusion of the legislative session.

In light of these impending deadlines, senators took action on Thursday to set aside the motion for reconsideration. This decision effectively concluded their efforts on the bill, setting the stage for its return to the House for further deliberation. On May 5, the Mississippi legislature is expected to adjourn.

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

Bill Amended Evades Mobile Sports Betting

A revised version of HB 774 was approved by the Senate, which eliminated anything pertaining to mobile sports betting, including the bill’s original name, the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act.

Before the Senate Gaming Committee made these changes, the law was originally intended to authorize online sports and race betting for the whole state, with provisions for operators who partnered with land-based casinos. Hence, the bill’s amended form marks a substantial change in focus away from mobile wagering and towards other parts of the gaming industry, departing from its original goal.

Senate Gaming Committee Chair Senator David Blount suggests that there is a sense of expectation that the bill’s modifications will face opposition in the House of Representatives. As a result, it is anticipated that a conference committee will be established in order to help in discussions with the goal of resolving the differences in perspectives between the members of both houses.

“The bill that was held on the motion simply brings forward the [Mississippi Code] sections that were in the bill originally passed by the House,” Blount said on Thursday. “There is no new language. I anticipate the House will invite a conference when we send this back over to them.”

HB 774 in its Original Form

A prior version of HB 774 aimed to expand Mississippi’s existing gaming market, which currently permits in-person betting at the state’s casinos while restricting online wagering to within the premises of these establishments.

HB 774 sought to eliminate these constraints, allowing individuals across Mississippi to engage in sports betting regardless of their location within the state.

Under the proposed measure, each of Mississippi’s 26 casinos would be required to form partnerships with sports betting brands to facilitate online wagering. Operators obtaining a wagering license in the Magnolia State as per HB 774 would be subject to a tiered tax structure.

Sportsbooks would face taxation rates of up to 12% on their monthly adjusted gross revenue, with the tax rate varying based on the operator’s monthly revenue. Projections indicate that revenues from online wagering could potentially reach $35 million annually in the state.

“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,” the bill read.

“To impose a fee on the gross revenue of a licensed gaming establishment, including a platform that operates an online sports pool, an online race book, or both on behalf of the holder of a gaming license.”

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Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with more than four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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