Mississippi legalized sports betting at casinos back in August 2018. As of now, bettors have to physically go to a casino to place wagers. However, that could be changing in the near future as the state considers legalizing online sports betting as well.
With an annual revenue of $5 million dollars, it appears that the sports betting industry has leveled out at that mark. Unfortunately, there are some casinos that still struggle due to neighboring states allowing full-fledged online sports betting.
Sports Betting Has Helped to Increase Casino Foot Traffic
What was evident almost immediately, after legalizing sports betting in casinos, was that the foot traffic to these establishments increased. People weren’t just coming to the casinos to play the typical table games and slot machines, they were coming in to place some wagers.
Despite this initial increase in foot traffic the industry is still struggling in the state. Part of the issue is the amount of competition coming from neighboring states – in particular Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Obviously, Mississippi needs to stay competitive, and as neighboring states make changes, offer new additions, and legalize various measures of gambling – there is pressure for the Mississippi market to keep up.
Legalizing sports betting on mobile devices isn’t unique concept, as there are a number of states that have already implemented it within their borders. These states have reaped the rewards of online betting, which only motivates some of Mississippi’s legislators to hurry up and pass their own legislation.
Providing Mississippians With Convenience
It’s all about the convenience factor. If people can place a sports wager from their mobile device without having to drive to a casino and step foot in it, then the belief is that the state could see an increase in gaming revenue.
However, Eure, along with other state leaders, are proclaiming that they want to do this right way, which means it could be 2021 before residents can use their phones to place wagers.
At this point, the current laws are outdated. Most of them date back to the early 1990s, which is 30 years ago. A lot has changed in 30 years including how the gambling industry operates and people’s views on gambling in general.
Eure’s goal is to create legislation that benefits all and doesn’t end up causing any harm or negative effects to the gaming industry.
As for the revenue that sports betting will generate through taxes, it has been discussed that it could go towards bridge and state road repairs.
Mississippi’s Next Move
At this point, there seems to be a lot of wheels in motion, with plenty of parties showing interest in moving ahead with some sort of legalized online sports betting.
Currently the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association is putting together a proposal that will be presented to the legislature. It is their way of making sure they get a say and have an impact in meaningful legislation regarding the industry.
Despite the support for online sports betting and the industry as a whole, there are still state leaders who oppose this and will fight any changes to what has already been approved.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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