Mobile sports betting is one step closer to coming to Mississippi as lawmakers made a necessary step in the process on Tuesday.
House Bill 774, also being referred to as the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act, was approved by the House Gaming Committee, meaning it now has a chance to go to the full floor for a vote.
As casino owners continue to fear that online sports gambling would hurt their annual revenue, lawmakers inserted a provision in the bill that would require gambling companies to contract with brick-and-mortar casinos before opening their platform to Mississippians.
Even with the concerns coming from casinos, data presented in Tuesday’s committee meeting showed that Mississippians are finding a way to gamble online as it is – even though state law requires mobile sports betting to take place within the corridors of one of more than two dozen licensed sportsbooks inside casinos.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Rep. Casey Eure of Saucier, showed fellow members that Mississippi leads the U.S. in illegal online sports betting Google searches and have been known to use illegal offshore sports betting platforms.
If the bill is passed by both chambers and signed by Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi would join 29 other states and Washington, D.C. in legalizing mobile sports betting. Five other states are also currently considering legislation to do the same.
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