House Committee Approves Mississippi Bill to Establish Online … – Covers

Baby steps are being made toward finally legalizing online sports betting in the Magnolia State.
On Tuesday, the Mississippi House appropriations committee approved an amended bill that could pave the way for an online sports betting Task Force.
Three sports betting bills attempted to make it through before the legislative session’s deadline. Two of them would’ve had legal sports betting come to statewide fruition online, but each ultimately failed.
However, House Bill 606 — which authorizes an eleven-member task force to study the issue — successfully passed and will now proceed to the House and Senate for consideration.  
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Casey Eure, is confident that this will lead to an expanded online sports betting bill that can pass. 
“As you know, for the last several years we’ve been working on a mobile sports betting bill, and at this time we felt it was the proper thing to pit this task force together, then hopefully come next year and have a good mobile sports betting bill that this House can pass,” Eure told the Mississippi Clarion Ledger on Wednesday.
The state’s inability to pass a full online sports betting bill cost the state during the worst of the pandemic. While a task force may not be the progress those wanting an expansion of sports betting in Mississippi were hoping for, it is a path that could get them online by next year’s Super Bowl — but the delay is surprising, given Mississippi’s pro-gambling history. 
Mississippi is known for its early adoption of legalized gambling. In 1990, the state passed a law legalizing casinos along the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River.
It was also one of the first states to legalize in-person sports betting within months of the US Supreme Court’s 2018 vote to repeal PASPA, and currently has 29 retail betting locations (tied to casinos), with mobile sports betting only permitted while on the grounds of those facilities.
Since then, however, the Magnolia State has failed several times to legalize a statewide expansion of online sports betting.
Should HB606 become law, it will establish the Mobile-Online Betting Task Force, co-chaired by the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Gaming Committees. Each co-chair will appoint three additional members. Additionally, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue, and the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association will either become task force members themselves or designate a member in their stead. 
If established, the task force will be on a tight schedule to produce results: All of the members must be appointed within 30 days of the law’s effective date, and the task force must also have its first meeting within 60 days.
Meanwhile, the group’s final report must be submitted to the legislature no later than October 15, 2023. 
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