On Thursday, the Mississippi House of Representatives approved House Bill 774, aiming to legalize online sports betting within the state, pending Senate approval and the governor’s signature.
The bill, passed with a 97-14 vote, enables online sports gambling in Mississippi, requiring mobile companies to partner with in-state brick-and-mortar gambling establishments. Limited to residents within Mississippi, the bill aims to generate $25-35 million in tax revenues for the state, allocated to road and bridge maintenance.
Although sports gambling has been legal since 2018, this bill introduces online betting. With 29 states and Washington, D.C. already allowing mobile sports betting, Mississippi joins others in considering or legalizing online sports betting.
In the session, Eure mentioned that the Georgia Senate approved online sports betting on the same day, and he indicated that the Alabama Legislature will also be considering the passage of a sports betting package later this year.
All I’m doing is trying to give another product to our casino industry in our state to stay competitive, I feel like that’s what we’re doing. So if you look at surrounding states and you look at what happened today in Georgia, just keep that in mind, that we keep Mississippi moving forward.
Representative Robert Johnson, a Democrat, introduced an amendment to the bill that proposes redirecting tax revenues generated from online gambling to a 40-mile radius around the location where the revenues were generated. He contends that this approach would more effectively benefit the areas where substantial online betting activity is expected.
Robert Johnson, mentioned:
If I have 4,000 people placing a bet Natchez on FanDuel, which is drafting their contracts with a casino on the coast, all that revenue, all those jobs and created at the casino, should follow that money down there.
The proposed amendment was overwhelmingly rejected. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for review, and if approved by both chambers in its current form, it is set to become effective in July.