UPDATE: Sports betting legalized in Mississippi casinos

MGN Online

This will go into effect in 30 days for Mississippi casinos.

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 9:48 AM
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 2:34 PM

Update 06/21/18 2:30 p.m. - WLBT-TV in Jackson reports the Mississippi Gaming Commission voted to approve sports betting regulations. This will go into effect in 30 days for Mississippi casinos.

See the original post below.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi gambling regulators are set to vote Thursday on whether to approve final rules allowing sports betting, clearing the way for sports books to open in the state's 28 casinos in July.

The state Gaming Commission has placed the rules on its agenda for consideration Thursday. Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey said commission staff will propose some slight tweaks to the rules that were published for public comment in May.

If approved, the rules would take effect in 30 days. Some sports betting service providers, though, must be licensed by the commission before betting begins. Such service providers are already applying for licenses, Godfrey said. Equipment must also be tested, with tests approved by the state.

Mississippi changed its law in 2017 to allow sports betting as part of a bill legalizing and regulating fantasy sports. The U.S. Supreme Court last month struck down a federal law that barred gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.

Unlike in some other states, Mississippi's betting would be confined to casinos.

The state's casinos, which boomed in the 1990s, have struggled with competition as gambling has spread. Casinos hope betting could give Mississippi gambling halls a competitive edge, at least for now. Betting itself is likely to produce less than $10 million a year in tax revenue for the state, but casinos hope it will attract customers who will spend on hotel rooms, restaurants and other gambling.

Casinos would pay state and local taxes worth 12 percent of the wagers minus the payouts. Mississippi casinos could take bets on any pro, college or Olympic sport, or any other proposition approved by regulators except political elections. But the commission will be able to veto types of wagers "contrary to the public policies of the state."

Casinos could not take bets from coaches or participants, must report suspicious bets over $5,000, and cannot offer special bets or special odds to a single patron. Sports books are supposed to get detailed information on anyone betting or winning more than $10,000.

Three casinos run by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians plan their own sports books, but tribal leaders haven't said when they will start. Those casinos aren't regulated by the state, but Godfrey said he expects state and tribal rules will mesh "very closely."

Only two people wrote in opposition to the proposed rules, including Kenny Digby, the executive director of the Mississippi Baptist Convention's Christian Action Commission.

"Any gambling or lottery activity puts pressure on our churches and relief ministries to meet additional benevolence needs," Digby wrote. "There will always be more losers than winners, if there are any winners."

The National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and golf's PGA Tour all submitted comments seeking identical changes. They want casinos to be required "to immediately report" abnormal or suspicious bets to the relevant sports league, including bets that break the league's own rules.

"Major League Baseball's ability to identify and stop corruption is only as good as the information to which it has access," that league wrote.

The leagues also want the ability to limit certain kinds of bets, with the commission having limited power to override the league's wishes.

"As betting markets mature, sports pools are likely to offer more exotic bets, some of which may be inappropriate given the integrity concerns involved," the NBA wrote.

Baseball teams also want to exclude bets on minor league baseball teams.

"We have smaller budgets, play in smaller stadiums, and do not pay our players and umpires Major League-sized contracts," wrote representatives of Mississippi's two minor league baseball teams, the Biloxi Shuckers and Mississippi Braves. "Our game is more vulnerable to the risks associated with increased sports betting."

Godfrey said Mississippi plans to share data with sports leagues and others and had taken their concerns into account. However, he said staff members were not recommending all the changes sought by sports leagues.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds282449
DeSoto186519
Madison141936
Jones118549
Harrison109615
Rankin106315
Neshoba103976
Forrest97243
Lauderdale95481
Scott80915
Jackson74418
Washington70010
Copiah64215
Leake62120
Lee60022
Oktibbeha58928
Holmes57941
Warren57720
Grenada5698
Wayne56018
Yazoo5486
Lowndes53613
Leflore52856
Lamar5227
Lincoln51935
Pike48820
Sunflower4708
Lafayette4644
Monroe43935
Panola4326
Covington4295
Bolivar39418
Simpson3843
Attala38324
Newton36710
Adams34719
Pontotoc3396
Tate33313
Marion32412
Claiborne30011
Winston29611
Chickasaw29319
Pearl River28132
Noxubee2778
Marshall2763
Jasper2716
Clay25611
Walthall2497
Union24611
Smith23712
Coahoma2196
Clarke21725
Lawrence2022
Yalobusha2028
Kemper18314
Tallahatchie1784
Carroll17411
Humphreys16110
Calhoun1605
Montgomery1513
Itawamba1458
Tippah14411
Hancock14113
Webster13411
Jefferson1223
Tunica1213
Jefferson Davis1184
Prentiss1173
George1123
Greene11210
Amite1083
Quitman971
Tishomingo971
Wilkinson969
Alcorn942
Perry794
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin542
Sharkey470
Benton440
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
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