Mississippi Senate keeps online sports betting bill hopes alive

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On paper, it seems like good news that the Mississippi Senate voted to pass HB 774, a bill that was originally intended to expand sports betting online in the state.

However, the version the Senate passed includes a strike-all amendment that essentially leaves the current law, which includes retail and not online betting, as it is. The strike-all version advanced out of the Senate Gaming Committee last week.

What is does do is keep the discussion around the bill alive.

Senate passes strike-all amended bill on sports betting

“The amendment that came out of committee makes no changes to the current law. It does not express a Senate position one way or another but it does express our position to continue to discuss this and hear from people across the state on this issue,” said Sen. David Blount before the vote.

“It keeps the issue alive and sends it to conference for further discussion,” he added.

Senators passed the bill with a 36-15-1 vote, but there is a motion to reconsider that could be taken up on Thursday.

House passed online sports betting back in February

The Mississippi House passed HB 774 in February by a 97-14 margin and the bill sat idle for two months before being taken up by the Senate Gaming Committee earlier this month. During that meeting, Blount said he was content to keep the conversation on the issue alive but that there were necessary changes before the bill was in a place for the Senate to approve.

The House version of the bill would allow each of the state’s 26 casinos to partner with a platform provider to offer online sports betting in the state. The tax rate would be variable up to 12% based on adjusted gross revenue.