Mississippi ready to win the race to implement sports betting

Stat

mississippirace
e legislators in Mississippi have introduced wording into a daily fantasy sports bill which paves the way for sports betting in the state, should the controversial Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) be repealed.

House Bill H967 enacted in 2016 amends the 1990 Mississippi Gaming Control act, removing a clause which states that no wagering shall be allowed on the outcome of any athletic event, nor on any matter to be determined during an athletic event, nor on the outcome of any event which does not take place on the premises.

Although the removal of this clause effectively allows sports betting to take place in the state, it cannot be fully legalised and regulated because of a federal law which prohibits sports betting.

However, Supreme Court justices will shortly review an August 2016 ruling by the Philadelphia-based 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals that an earlier 2014 New Jersey statute permitting sports betting at casinos and racetracks effectively violated PASPA.

Under PASPA, betting on sports is only permitted in four states, Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. New Jersey officials are contending that PASPA is unconstitutional under existing constitutional statutes which prohibit federal authorities from interfering in state affairs.

Mississippi was one of five US states which spoke out in support of the New Jersey legal challenge.

Should the New Jersey ruling be overturned, it is highly likely that the federal government will come under pressure to repeal PASPA, paving the way for the legalisation of sports betting in states all across America.

In an interview with the Sun Herald newspaper Representative Scott DeLano said that: “We did make modifications to Gaming Control Act that would allow for the Gaming Commission to regulate sports betting if it were ever to be overturned at the federal level.”

Officials in the Mississippi legislature have already ruled that sports betting is legal and are anxiously awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court to press ahead with implementation efforts.

DeLano added: “We want to be ready for any new investment that we can do in a responsible way.”

Supreme Court Justices are due to complete their deliberations in October.
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