Southern state politician launches fourth consecutive attempt to legalise online poker
You have to give Mississippi state Representative Bobby Moak credit for sheer perseverance; with the state legislature just back in session this Democratic Party politician has launched his fourth consecutive bill proposing the legalisation of intrastate online poker.
Never-say-die Moak has retitled and reintroduced his Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act Of 2015 this week, apparently undeterred by the lack of support that has seen his previous attempts stall at committee stage in the state House.
His lack of legislative success has been balanced by the creation of a task force charged by the legislature with carrying out a study of online gambling and reporting back to the House (see previous InfoPowa reports).
Led by Mississippi Gaming Commission executive director Allen Godfrey, the eight man team has yet to submit its recommendations, but the report is expected in the near future. That could be critical to Moak's latest legislative push; if the bill is to get to the Senate it needs to do so before a February 23 deadline, and support for it may be dependent on the study group's conclusions.
Under the current proposal online poker players who use offshore poker sites instead of, or in addition to, those licensed and regulated by Mississippi could be punished with up to 90 days imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine. This would make Mississippi the only state other than Washington that directly targets players as well as operators.
Much stiffer criminal penalties are reserved for illegal operators.
Mississippi already has a well-developed, albeit declining, tribal, land and riverboat casino gambling industry.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa