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: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844951

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161002006
Mobile741871379
Madison53279732
Shelby38325368
Baldwin38068589
Tuscaloosa36009641
Montgomery34482781
Lee25550263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22451406
Etowah20013517
Marshall18777316
Houston17727425
St. Clair16875358
Limestone16135218
Cullman16044303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14968306
Talladega14189299
DeKalb12967269
Walker12020380
Blount10714192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10157194
Coffee9414192
Colbert9334208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7254201
Russell707765
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6932195
Franklin6340108
Chambers5783142
Marion5401130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318189
Cherokee317563
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254460
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184947
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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