Mississippi House Rejects Senate’s Changes to Mobile Betting Bill

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The Confederate Mothers statue is seen outside the Mississippi State Capitol building during the state legislature's historic vote to change the Mississippi flag in Jackson, Mississippi on June 28, 2020. Lawmakers in Mississippi voted on June 28 to remove the Confederate battle standard from the state flag, after nationwide protests drew renewed attention to symbols of the United States' racist past. Rory Doyle / AFP

The battle over online sports betting in Mississippi continues. But that’s a good thing.

The Mississippi House of Representatives rejected the Senate’s changes to a bill that initially focused on mobile sports betting. This move was widely anticipated and now paves the way for further discussions among Magnolia State lawmakers.

Mississippi’s House of Representatives opposed the amendments the Senate had made to House Bill 774. Originally, this bill aimed to legalize online sports and race betting across the state.

This Was a Planned Rejection

It was expected that the House would reject these changes. The Senate had passed a version of H.B. 774 that didn’t include any provisions for mobile sports betting. However, they did this strategically to keep the bill alive through various legislative deadlines and to allow ongoing debates on whether Mississippi should permit statewide mobile wagering.

The legislative session will end on May 5, but the Senate’s actions provide hope to those supporting the legalization of mobile sports betting in Mississippi. Senator David Blount conceded that there are still many things to discuss before online sports betting is legalized across the state.

There is no new language,” said Blount, who’s also chairman of the chamber’s gaming committee. “I anticipate the House will invite conference when we send this back over to them.”

What Does H.B. 774 Call For?

Mississippi legalized in-person sportsbooks and apps on casino property in 2018.

Nearly 30 brick-and-mortar casinos in Mississippi currently offer legal sports betting, with only some of them providing mobile wagering within their premises. However, Mississippi is among the 20 states that do not have any legalized forms of mobile wagering due to the lack of authorized mobile betting outside casino grounds.

House Bill 774 aimed to rectify this by allowing online sportsbook operators to partner with brick-and-mortar casinos to provide mobile wagering. The bill initially proposed a 12% tax rate for online betting before the Senate made amendments. For the legalization of mobile wagering this year, the legislation will need to reinstate these provisions or ones similar to them.

Mobile Sports Betting Could Generate Millions

Mississippi is facing a decline in commercial gaming revenue, raising concerns. According to the American Gaming Association, the state’s total commercial gaming revenue was about $180 million in January 2024, showing a nearly 11% drop from the previous year.

The bill could introduce as many as 26 betting apps to the state, replicating the success that have been seen in neighboring states like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Under the House proposal, each of the 26 casinos could partner with one online operator.  

If the online sports betting bill passes, it’s expected to bring in between $25 million and $35 million to The Magnolia State in the first year. An online sports betting task force report suggests that approving online sports betting could lead to Mississippi generating more than $27 million in tax revenue by the 2029 fiscal year.

We’ll continue to track the negotiations and the discussion.