Mississippi Online Casino Games Bill Rejected by Committee

By Maria McCoyGoogle

In February of 2012, Representative Bobby Moak introduced the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012 (H.R. 1373) just two months after the United States Department of Justice determined that online casino games other than sports betting fell outside of the Wire Act of 1961. The bill has now officially been declared “dead” as it failed to secure a three-fifths majority in Ways and Means committee and the Gaming committee of the state.

The bill aimed to legalize and regulate online gambling, including poker, within Mississippi state lines, and would have allowed gaming companies that already have licenses in the state to offer online wagering. The bill included stipulations that aimed to prevent underage wagering, ensure that the online casino games offered at top online casinos are fair and safe, increase jobs, tax, and fee revenues within the states, push out illegal overseas operations, and provide a significant source of taxable revenue.

If the application was approved, online casino games operators would have had to pay a nonrefundable deposit of at least $100,000 for an Internet wagering permit. Additionally, they would have had to pay $100,000.00 a year to the State General Fund and a further $100,000 annual levy to the Mississippi Gaming Commission Fund.

Operators such as Caesars, Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts, which already hold gambling licenses in the state in brick-and-mortar businesses, would have had the first stab at an online gaming space.

Mississippi was one of six states to consider an intrastate online gambling bill. Other states that have explored the possibilities of legalizing online casino games include New Jersey, Iowa, Nevada, California and Hawaii.

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