Mississippi is on the brink of legalizing sports gambling after a successful vote in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act is now on its way to the Senate for further consideration. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Casey Eure of Saucier, has gained significant bipartisan support due to the potential financial benefits it could bring to the state.
The House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, with a vote of 97-14, reflecting the widespread belief that legalizing sports gambling could generate significant tax revenue for the state. It is estimated that Mississippi could see an increase of $25-30 million in tax revenue if the bill successfully passes through the legislative process.
If the bill clears the Senate, it will impose a 12% tax on sports bets, with 4% of this tax revenue allocated to the localities where a casino is located and the remaining 8% going to the state government. While the financial incentives are clear, there are concerns that smaller casinos may be left out of the sports gambling landscape, as they may not be of interest to larger betting platforms.
Despite these concerns, it is widely believed that the legalization of sports gambling in Mississippi is inevitable, with lawmakers acknowledging that certain compromises may need to be made in order to push the bill forward. The Senate will now have the opportunity to weigh in on the issue, and if the bill is successful, it is expected that Republican Governor Tate Reeves will ultimately approve it, even if it means going against some members of his own party.
The potential legalization of sports gambling in Mississippi comes at a time when other states, such as Georgia and Virginia, are also considering changes to their gambling laws. Georgia has passed a bill in the Senate to allow sports gambling, while Virginia is reevaluating its stance on skill games. These developments reflect a broader trend of reconsidering gambling regulations across the United States.