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Online Sports Betting Operators Eye up Mississippi

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As of February 1, the House of Representatives has passed House Bill 774, the Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act. This bill has received monumental support and will eventually allow online sports betting to be legal in the state of Mississippi.

The main components of the bill give online betting platforms the right to partner with local Mississippi casinos and offer online sports betting all over the Magnolia State. According to the bill, betting platforms will have to apply for a license, and this will be open to all companies. Players would then have the opportunity to select the provider of their choice, granted they received a license. 

Rationale and Challenges

At the moment, you can bet on sports in Mississippi, but only at brick-and-mortar casinos. Mississippi also has very limited online sports betting. You have to download a Mississippi casino app, and you can only place bets while you’re on casino property, you can forget about betting from the comfort of your home.

The big reason why Mississippi is pushing to legalize online sports betting is to increase tax revenue. Politicians understand how big the illegal online betting market is and how much tax revenue they’re losing by not allowing Mississippi residents to bet legally.

Republican Casey Eure, the head of the Mississippi House Gaming Committee, said that close to $64 billion in illegal online sports bets are placed in the United States every year. Plus, in Mississippi alone, over $3 billion in illegal sports wagers are made. Politicians are hoping to radically reduce the number of illegal sports bets made and then get licensed operators to pay tax on their revenue.

Sports betting is a new thing in Mississippi with only taking sports bets since August 1, 2018. Casino operators have been staunchly against online sports betting as they were concerned online sports betting would affect their profitability. Until now casino operators have successfully lobbied against online sports betting but the tide is finally turning.

Politicians Are Worried About the Impact of Online Sports Betting on Land Based Casinos

Democratic House Leader, Robert Johnson, has come to the defense of the brick-and-mortar casinos. He’s concerned that smaller Mississippi casinos wouldn’t receive lucrative partnership offers from online sports betting companies. Instead, these online betting platforms would exclusively partner with the big, well-known casinos.  

Johnson came out with an amendment to the bill, which would guarantee a casino a portion of the proceeds from any online sports wagering done within 40 miles of the casino. The amendment was ignored by Republicans. Johnson decided to support the bill anyway and said that legal online sports betting in Mississippi was going to pass with or without his support.

The bill isn’t quite over the line yet. The Senate has up until April 2 to either adopt or reject the bill. Despite receiving large House support, it could still stumble when it gets to the Senate.

The Senate will likely have concerns related to Mississippi coast casinos. These casinos generate a lot of jobs and tax revenue for the state. Politicians will have to carefully analyze the impact of online sports betting on jobs and casino infrastructure. 

Senator Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula said, “We want to make sure the environment stays competitive. As I understand it, some of the new online gaming folks operate under a different business model than what we’ve traditionally had.”

The Bill Is Likely to Pass the Senate

Despite the concerns, the bill is likely to pass as online sports betting has already been adopted by the majority of states throughout the US.

If the bill is passed into law, Mississippi would become the 30th state to allow online sports wagering. Neighboring state Alabama is looking closely at what happens in Mississippi where online sports betting is currently banned. Pro-gambling politicians are hoping that if the bill gets passed in Mississippi, it might improve the odds of a similar bill getting over the line in Alabama. It’s estimated that online sports betting in Alabama would generate about $10 million per year in tax revenue. Residents of Alabama often travel across state lines to access gambling, and the state wants a piece of that action.

Keep your eyes peeled on the Mississippi Senate in early April. The online sports betting bill is the odds on favorite to be passed! 

As an avid enthusiast of technological innovation and the thrilling intersection of machinery and athleticism, I proudly consider myself a steadfast supporter of Machina Sports, advocating for its growth, celebrating its pioneers, and contributing to the vibrant community that shares a passion for the future of sports.

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Sports Betting

Online Betting Has Taken Over American Sports

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For years, American sports didn’t have so much to do with betting, but times have changed. These days, NBA announcers and NFL commentary teams will discuss the odds and, during games, fans will often be presented with ads for online betting companies.

This trend all started back in 2018 when legalized sports betting was ushered in across the US. Currently, sports betting is available in some form in over 30 states, while sports betting revenue shot up to $7.5 billion in the US in 2022. Additionally, state governments are raking in unprecedented amounts of tax revenue, which is only going to increase. By 2030, the industry could be worth over $180 billion. 

NCAA Study on Sports Betting Findings

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) conducted an in-depth study in a bid to meet the needs of its fans and adjust to a new reality where sports betting is prevalent. The NCAA looked at the betting habits of young people throughout the US.

The survey focused on young adults who reside in the United States. It received 3,527 responses. Nearly half of the respondents were pursuing higher education degrees and studying at institutions located in the US. 

According to the report, almost 60% of respondents had recently bet on sports or played fantasy sports for real money. Interestingly, college students who live on campus are more likely to bet on sports than those who live off campus. 67% of students living on campus are frequent sports bettors.

College Students Enjoy Betting on Their School’s Team

College sports are incredibly popular, particularly football, where players battle it out in front of 50,000+ crowds while millions watch on TV at home. When it comes to the sports betting scene, 41% of college students claim to have recently placed bets on their school’s team while 35% of students reportedly wager against their fellow students.

NCAA president Charlie Baker commissioned the survey in order to better understand the current sports betting and crypto sports betting market in the US as well as its impact on students who participate. Online sports betting is also available in 20+ states, and this number is set to rise over the next few years in a bid to generate additional tax revenue.

Charlie Baker commented alongside the published survey results, reasoning, “We needed a new baseline so we can better understand what student-athletes are experiencing on their campuses and among their peers so we can best help them deal with the dynamic of legal sports betting,” Baker continued, “Sports betting has increased interest in sports of all kinds, including college sports, which is great for our fans, but the NCAA and everyone from coaches to athletics department staff and college presidents must better understand what impact sports betting may have on student-athletes.”

College Students Bet $10-$20 Per Game

Unsurprisingly, the average college student is not a high-stakes gambler, placing on average up to $20 per wager, with 79% of survey respondents placing $1-$50 per bet. This is in contrast to the average 55+ year old frequent sports bettor, who on average may place $100+ per bet.

Football was reportedly the most popular sport to bet on, and the NFL was the most popular league among college students. The NBA came in second place, while college basketball and college football were ranked third and fourth, respectively. The rise of soccer betting is another interesting trend which is undoubtedly being helped by Lionel Messi playing in Major League Soccer (MLS). It’ll be interesting to see if soccer continues to gain popularity in the US over the next few years.

Younger Americans tend to have more diverse betting habits. Esports and soccer are increasingly popular with younger Americans compared to 55+ year olds who prefer traditional sports with over 70% betting on the NFL. Esports betting is still relatively new and represents a massive opportunity for betting sites.

The sports betting industry continues to grow in the US and is predicted to cross the $150 billion mark within five years. Sports betting operators’ success is linked with the growing popularity of major US sporting leagues including NCAA football, the NFL, MLB and NFL. However, betting sites will have to cater to the changing needs of younger Americans who will provide the fuel the industry needs to grow.

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