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.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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