The Mississippi House of Representatives is considering a new bill that would legalize online sports betting in the state. Currently, sports betting is only allowed at land-based casinos, following laws passed in 2018. House Bill 774, which has the backing of eight state representatives, aims to extend the current sports betting market to include online wagering.
The bill, which has already cleared the House Gaming Committee, would allow all 26 land-based casinos in Mississippi to launch online sports betting. Casinos would be limited to partnering with only one licensed platform for online wagering, in addition to any existing retail sportsbooks. Notably, the bill does not mention an application fee for licenses, but it does outline renewal fees for manufacturer’s and seller’s or distributor’s licenses.
Additionally, the bill proposes a tiered tax structure for licensees based on their gross revenue. Operators with online sports betting revenue of less than $50,000 per month would be taxed at a rate of 4%, while those generating more than $134,000 would be taxed at a rate of 8%.
If the bill passes through the House, Senate, and into law, it is expected to go into effect on July 1 of this year. House Bill 774 is not the only bill seeking to legalize sports betting in Mississippi, as there are several other bills, including HB271 and HB635, currently under consideration.
The push for online sports betting in Mississippi comes after a bill was signed into law last year, authorizing a sports betting task force in the state to conduct a comprehensive analysis. While the initial bill aimed to allow each land-based casino to partner with an online sportsbook, its scope was reduced in committee. In contrast, HB774 proposes allowing all casinos to offer online betting.
As neighboring states such as Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana have already launched legal online betting markets, Mississippi is feeling the pressure to catch up. With the potential legalization of online sports betting, Mississippi may soon join its neighboring states in offering this form of gambling to its residents.