Mississippi Legislature

  • A Mississippi online sports betting bill died for the 2024 legislative session.
  • State lawmakers failed to advance a final proposal on the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act before Monday’s deadline.
  • Bill estimates show online sports betting would bring over $25 million in annual tax revenue to the state, but concerns over state casinos stalled out the bill.

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi residents will have to go another year without regulated sports betting in the state. Negotiators couldn’t reach a final proposal regarding the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act in time for Monday’s deadline.

Mississippi’s proposed legal sports betting bill, MS HB 774 or the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act, had several versions pass in the House and the Senate earlier in the legislative session. Senator Casey Eure’s bill passed convincingly in the House with a 97-14 vote back on Feb. 2, but discussions stalled out once the bill reached the Senate.

Concerns Over Impact On Local Casinos Kill Online Sports Betting

The main argument against bringing Mississippi sports betting online was the harm to state casinos. Mississippi already has legal sports betting at retail locations, but many believe those casinos will struggle with most betting traffic heading online.

To combat this, Eure’s original version of the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act included a distribution of revenue to local casinos. This included a 12% tax for online wagers (4% for local casinos, 8% to the state) but was amended to direct all 12% towards emergency road and bridge repairs through a state fund.

The Senate likely considered these changes while running out of time to submit a final proposal before Monday. The pressure to regulate online sports betting will be on once again next year, as Mississippi is surrounded by states with sports betting available online like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

For now, Mississippi residents can legally use internationally-licensed sportsbooks like Bovada to bet on sports in Mississippi. The Magnolia State makes up roughly 5% of the betting market at Bovada, with residents betting roughly $3 billion per year online at these sportsbooks.

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