Divided opinions in Mississippi over sports betting

By Robert Simmons
Lawmakers in Mississippi are divided over the potential legalisation of sports betting in the state, with two bills at odds in the state senate.

House Bill 1113, principally authored by Representative Roun McNeal, would see the amendment of existing state law to prohibit betting on “the outcome of any athletic event, nor any matter to be determined during an athletic event, nor on the outcome of any event, which does not take place on the premises.”

However, the language of this bill does not contain any prohibition of daily fantasy sports contests, which have been legal in the state since March 2017, when House Bill 967 was passed.

At the same time, Mississippi representative Becky Currie has put forward House Bill 1154, which would see a committee established to the look at the policies that the state could employ to tax any casino in the state that wishes to offer sports-related gambling.

Under the Bill, the committee would report its findings and recommendations to both the House Committee on Gaming and the Senate committee on Finance, before the regular session of the legislature commences in 2019.

Both of the proposed pieces of legislation would require a final vote in both the legislature and the main senate before they could be passed and the Mississippi constitution can be amended.


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