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Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting


  • The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the House in February 
  • The bill would add an estimated $25-35 million in annual tax funding
  • Lawmakers have until April 11 to hold the vote

The tug of war for Mississippi online sports betting took a massive change in direction on Tuesday when a Senate committee advanced a pro-gambling bill.

The Senate Gaming Committee approved and advanced Rep Casey Eure’s Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act (HB 774) to the Senate floor. The bill, which was approved by the House via a 97-14 vote two months ago, now has until the Senate adjourns on April 11 to receive full approval. 

Mississippi legalized in-person sports betting at local casinos in 2018 shortly after the PAPSA decision, though it is still yet to partner its retail gambling market with an online arm.

What the bill says 

If approved, Eure’s proposal would allow all 26 Mississippi casinos to team up with online sports betting operators. 

The bill was amended slightly since it arrived in the Senate. The current version includes more regulations for fantasy sports, mandates age verification tools, and addresses gray-market electronic games.

The changes may require the House to take another vote on the bill, though they are not expected to jeopardize the support for the bill should the Senate formalize its approval.

“We want to continue to move the bill along,” Sen. David Blount (D-29), the gaming committee chairman, said after Tuesday’s vote. “There are a lot of issues that we need to consider, from the perspective of the industry and also from the perspective of the consumer, that we will do if we get to the point where we might be able to get something done this year. In the meantime, we don’t want to stop people from listening to each other and working.”

The bill includes a revenue-based tax system that increases in accordance with a legal betting site’s earnings. Taxes will be attached to four percent of gross revenue up to $50,000 per month, six percent between $50,000 and $134,000 per month, and eight percent above $134,000 per month.

Operators will pay another four percent in gross revenue to help fund the Road and Bridge Repair Fund. They will not have to pay more than a maximum of 12 percent of their gross monthly revenue.

Estimates suggest that Mississippi, which had the lowest nominal GDP per capita of any state in 2022, could earn $25-35 million in annual tax stipends.

Changes to the Mississippi market 

While each casino is limited to one online sportsbook partner, the operators are not limited in how many casino partnerships they are allowed to obtain. As such, it’s unknown how many online sportsbooks could potentially enter the Mississippi market, should lawmakers get the bill over the finish line before the deadline.

One of the primary motivations for the bill’s progress is the growing illegal gambling market in Mississippi and nationwide.

“It’s estimated that $64 billion was wagered on illegal sports bets across the United States last calendar year,” Eure said earlier in the year. “Mississippi makes up 5% of that market, which is $3 billion.” 

There aren’t any professional Mississippi sports teams for locals to wager on, though college sports betting is a huge market. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are the most prominent attractions, but all nearby SEC action has its own intrigue.

NCAA President Charlie Baker last week released a statement expressing his desire for states to outlaw college player prop betting. Maryland, Ohio, and Vermont, took the initiative earlier in the year, and Louisiana announced on Wednesday that it will enact a prohibition on August 1. 

Mississippi already had a restriction on all forms of college player prop betting, so it won’t have to experience a shake-up in that area of the market.

All that’s left is for the Senate to reach a three-fifths majority vote before the April 11 deadline. Otherwise, online sports betting might be on hold until 2025.