The idea of mobile sports betting in Mississippi lasted only a couple of weeks in 2019 before being phased out. Both state House and Senate bills to authorize mobile sports betting died after missing the deadline to advance from committee.
Both bills, know as H1481 and S2667 missed the February 6 deadline to advance from committee. With Mississippi’s annual legislative session ending April 7, the state will have to wait at least another year in its efforts to legalize mobile sports betting.
The bills were sponsored by Representative Cedric Burnett (D-Tunica) and Senator Willie Simmons (D-Cleveland). Simmons told The J.T. Show on Supertalk Mississippi that he plans to continue pursuing sports betting legislation.
“We think as we move forward, we’re going to continue to look at that because it would generate dollars and additions we need for the state,” Simmons said.
Could Mobile Still Happen In Mississippi?
The reason for mobile sports betting in Mississippi not advancing this year included a number of concerns. Despite these concerns, mobile sports betting can still come about in the Magnolia State.
Experts closest to the process in Mississippi say it could take years to gain enough support for mobile betting. Similar mobile sports betting bills could appear in the 2020 legislative session.
“Passing legislation is kind of like a courtship you have with a significant other,” Simmons said. “You have to date it, work it, nurture it, and get it to where you can have a marriage. So we know when we put together a piece of legislation like that, that it’s a challenge for us, but we’re not going to give up.”
Sports Betting Revenue Low In Mississippi Without Mobile
In the first few months of Mississippi sports betting, revenue has been inconsistent. Opening month proved to be profitable for the state, but once football season got into full swing, fall revenue numbers dropped.
On a bright note, Mississippi ended 2018 with its best month to date. December numbers accounted for a $6 million hold on a $41 million handle.
A state like New Jersey, which features mobile betting, pulled in a handle of more than $650 million in the past two months. With more than two-thirds of that money coming from mobile and online platforms, it is clear that having those betting options can significantly increase profits, something Mississippi will have to wait at least another year to experience.