Mississippi Gaming Officials Ready If State-Wide Mobile Sports Betting OK'd
Jay McDaniel, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, said the state’s experience in regulating on-site mobile sports betting in Mississippi will help if lawmakers next year approve off-site mobile wagering.
The Legislature next meets in January at the Capitol in Jackson.
McDaniel participated in a panel discussion on gaming regulation Monday at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. The convention is being held this week at the Venetian hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
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BetMGM The ‘Model’ For Mississippi Mobile Wagering
Off-site mobile sports betting is illegal in Mississippi, but two MGM Resorts properties allow guests to use mobile sports betting apps, but only if the guests are somewhere on the property. These resorts are Beau Rivage on the Gulf Coast and the Gold Strike in Tunica.
In working with these on-site BetMGM mobile apps, state regulators have learned how to handle various issues that might arise with off-site apps, such as setting betting limits, McDaniel told Gambling.com.
“They are the model,” McDaniel said in an interview after the panel discussion.
Mississippi is home to 26 commercial casinos, including 12 along the Gulf Coast.
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Bordering States Have Mobile Sports Betting
McDaniel said it remains to be seen whether lawmakers will approve off-site mobile sports betting. The Legislature has previously shot down efforts to legalize off-site mobile wagering.
Mobile sports betting has had trouble winning approval at the Legislature in part because some casino operators are concerned that mobile wagering will keep customers from going inside casinos, McDaniel said. Mississippi casinos have on-site sportsbooks and Las Vegas-style table games and slots, in addition to restaurants and other amenities.
McDaniel noted that states such as Louisiana have had success in attracting customers to brick-and-mortar casinos while also offering off-site mobile sports betting. Louisiana shares a border with Mississippi.
McDaniel said Mississippi’s sports wagering revenue fell 25% after Louisiana legalized off-site mobile sports betting last January in time for the Super Bowl.
Two other states that border Mississippi also have legal mobile sports betting. In one of these states, Arkansas, the model is similar to Louisiana’s, with sports betting available on mobile apps and in-person at casino sportsbooks.
In Tennessee, which also borders Mississippi, sports betting is only legal on mobile platforms. The state does not have brick-and-mortar casinos.
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