Mississippi Wants Online Gambling, Too
If you’ve been reading our articles, it should come as no surprise that more states want to legalize and regulate online gambling. With the profits posted by recent states, it was only a matter of time until other states wanted in on the action. When we talked about other states legalizing online gambling, we specifically mentioned three: California, where the bill is caught up in legal red tape. There was also New York, where they’ve been trying to get online gambling legalized and regulated for years. Finally, there was Pennsylvania, which seemed like the most likely option of those three.
In our articles, we also stated that more states would probably want to venture into the world of online gambling, but they’d likely wait until more states legalized it so they could get a better idea of how much revenue it’d generate. One of the states that we never predicted to enter this battle, however, was Mississippi, but that’s exactly what’s happening.
In a bill presented by Assemblyman Bobby Moak, he states that he wants to legalize online poker and other casino games. Moak has tried this in the past, in both 2012 and 2013, but he’s been strangely quiet since it was legalized in other states.
Indeed, the Mississippi Lawful Gaming Act of 2015 seeks to establish a framework for legalized and regulated gaming. Also included in the bill is a hefty fine of $10,000 for players that gamble on unregulated sites:
“Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be punished as follows: For a violation of paragraph (a) [the paragraph quoted above] of subsection (2) of this section, he shall be imprisoned in the county jail for up to ninety (90) days or fined up to Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both.”
It’s unclear what prompted Moak to take action now, especially during such a turbulent time in the industry. As we noted earlier this week, New Jersey posted hefty profits in December, so maybe Moak wanted to get a piece of that action.
There’s roughly 40 casinos in Mississippi, so it should come as no surprise that the residents are eager to gamble. We’ve established that while land based casinos can’t compare with the no deposit promotions that sites offer, online gambling is meant to run simultaneously with land based casinos – it’s not a “one or the other” situation. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
It remains to be seen if Mississippi will be the fourth state in the nation to legalize and regulate online gambling, but if they do, it’ll be a great start to 2015. Expect to hear a lot more about this in the next few months.