Mississippi finds itself at a crossroads with online sports betting, a realm still awaiting legalization despite the green light for in-person betting at brick-and-mortar casinos since 2018. The push is on from lawmakers to mark July 2024 as the official kickoff for online betting, pending the passage of a proposed house bill.

The Genesis: House Bill 271 In the legislative arena, Democratic Rep. Cedric Burnett took the reins with House Bill 271, which laid the groundwork for a Mobile-Online Sports Betting Task Force upon its debut in early 2023. This bill charts a course to legalize online sports betting ahead of the 2024 football season, envisioning digital platforms operated by existing Mississippi-licensed casinos like DraftKings or FanDuel.

However, despite majority support, the bill faced resistance from certain local retail casinos, keen on safeguarding their turf even as they’re poised to join the online fray. The proposed legislation introduces a tiered taxation system pegged to monthly gross revenue:

  • 4% tax for companies raking in up to $50,000 monthly
  • 6% levy on revenue between $50,000 and $134,000 per month
  • 8% tax rate for companies exceeding $134,000 in monthly earnings

Securing Online Betting Access for Magnolia State Residents Mississippians have made attempts to engage in online betting via out-of-state operators, only to be thwarted by geolocation technology, according to GeoComply, the firm overseeing geolocation services for online sportsbooks. This same technology promises to furnish the state government with insights into the potential windfalls of online betting.

The Mobile-Online Sports Betting Task Force, in its Final Report, underscored the growth prospects tied to online sports betting adoption, augmented by new retail betting hubs and burgeoning interest in emerging sports like e-sports. A federal crackdown on illegal sports betting could further bolster growth.

Mississippi’s Struggle for Tax Revenue Parity Compared to states of similar size and population, Mississippi lags in tax revenue from gambling—a focal point driving the task force and Rep. Cedric Burnett’s advocacy for the bill’s passage into law.

The report sheds light on Mississippi’s existing casino landscape, comprising 16 potential online sportsbook operators, including major players like MGM, Penn, Boyd Gaming, Bally’s, and Caesars, all poised to pivot into online sports betting pending regulatory green lights.

Good luck and have fun!


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