Online Gaming Bill Rejected by Committee in Mississippi

04/17/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

This past February, Mississippi Representative Bobby Moak introduced H.R. 1373, the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012, just two months after the US Department of Justice ruled that online casino games other than sports betting were not affected by the Wire Act of 1961. The bill then went through both the Ways and Means committee and the Gaming committee, where it has now been declared dead, failing to secure a three-fifths majority for passage.

 

H.R. 1373 would have legalized and regulated online casino games, including poker, within Mississippi state lines, and would have allowed gaming operators that already have licenses in the state to offer online betting. H.R. 1373 encompassed stipulations that would have prevented underage gambling, ensured that the online casino games offered at top online casinos are fair and safe, increased jobs, tax, and fee revenues within the states, pushed out illegal overseas operations, and provided a significant source of taxable revenue.

 

The bill also had an article that would have required online casino games companies to pay a nonrefundable deposit of at least $100,000 for an Internet wagering permit. Additionally, operators would have had to pay $100,000 a year to the State General Fund and a further $100,000 annual levy to the Mississippi Gaming Commission Fund.

 

Well-known casinos like Caesars, Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts, which already hold gambling licenses for their land-based casinos would have had the first chance in the online casino games world.

 

Mississippi became the sixth state to consider intrastate online gambling legislation. Other states that have taken the legalization of online casino games into consideration include New Jersey, Iowa, Nevada, California and Hawaii.

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