Mobile sports betting and online casino could be on the legislative agenda in Mississippi in 2024 after Gov. Timothy Reeves penned into law a bill to set up a task force charged with exploring the possibility of expansion.
House Bill 606 was signed into law after passing through both the House and the Senate in the last month.
The bill was read in the Gaming and Appropriations committee in the House, before being voted for in a 109-5 vote. It then went to the Gaming committee in the Senate before passing the upper chamber in a 49-1 vote.
Now, Gov. Reeves has signed HB606 which increases the possibility of Mississippi legalizing online sports betting and/or online casino in 2024.
Introduced by Rep. Casey Eure and Rep. Kevin Felsher, HB606 will mandate the task force to ‘undertake a comprehensive analysis of all matters related to legalizing online betting, online gaming and/or online wagering’.
The task force will have 13 members, co-chaired by the House Gaming Committee Chair, Rep. Eure and the Senate Gaming Committee Chair, David Blount.
Making up the rest of the task force will be the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Jay McDaniel; the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue, Chris Graham; the Chairman of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association, Larry Gregory – or a chosen designee from each.
The co-chairs will also be able to appoint three members to the task force each.
Set to be enacted from July 1., HB606 mandates that the task force should be appointed within 30 days and hold its first meeting within 60 days of that date.
By forming the task force, the Mississippi legislature has at least shown an indication that it is at least interested in exploring the possibility of gambling expansion in the years to come. However, this does not offer any guarantees for online casino and online sports betting expansion.
Sports betting launched in Mississippi in August 2018 but sportsbooks may only offer sports betting on casino grounds.