"Sit back and watch" is the state's legislative strategy
Earlier this week, Mississippi Representative Chuck Espy introduced bill HB806, preparing for the possible legalisation of sports betting in his state… but only if New Jersey's court battles to circumvent the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act are successful (see previous InfoPowa report).
InfoPowa readers will recall that New Jersey has for the past several years been locked in legal battles with the national sports leagues and the Department of Justice as it attempts to get around the PASPA, which restricts sports betting to just four US states.
However, in an interview with the Sun-Herald newspaper Monday, Rep. Richard Bennett, chairman of the state House Gaming Committee, said the immediate possibilities were remote for both sports betting and online gambling.
Bennett last year assembled the Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Task Force, led by Mississippi Gaming Commission Executive Director Allen Godfrey, and asked for a study of the financial, legal and technical considerations of betting on sports and Internet gambling.
The study was prompted by declining land casino revenues in Mississippi over the last two years, primarily because of competition from other states.
"Sports betting would definitely help the industry here," Bennett told the Sun-Herald. But he noted that Mississippi was a state that was going to "sit back and watch" as the New Jersey litigation on PASPA progressed, and warned that Internet gambling in New Jersey generated only 10 percent of what had been predicted.
Bennett opined that there is little interest among state leaders to introduce Internet gambling at this time.
"In Mississippi right now, it's just too early for us to look at going to Internet gaming," he said, observing that It would have to be conducted strictly within state boundaries, and that half the people in Mississippi don't have a computer or Internet access.
Bennett referenced the Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Task Force report, which revealed that in Nevada, where sports betting is legal, Americans wagered $3.6 billion in 2013. Of that, 45 percent of the bets were on football.
In contrast, the burgeoning and mainly mobile and online Daily Fantasy Sports vertical boasts more than 33 million Americans were playing fantasy sports in 2013, with 80 percent of them male, 78 percent college graduates and 70 percent interested in football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa