Two states eye gambling expansion
Legislators in Mississippi and Nebraska have introduced new bills with the aim of advancing the states’ gambling markets.
Senate Bill 2396, proposed by Senator Scott DeLane this week, sets out terms for online and mobile wagering on sports betting in Mississippi. The new legislation would permit Magnolia State operators to run one online sports betting platform per license. The bill does not stipulate the number of licenses to be awarded.
Meanwhile, Nebraska Senator Tom Briese introduced LB 560 on Tuesday. The legislation would permit racetracks to open casinos with full services, including sportsbooks. While it allows for online and mobile wagering, the bill requires bettors to place wagers while present at land-based properties.
An online future for Mississippi
Current Mississippi law permits mobile betting at any of the state’s 26 casinos, of which 13 are on land and 13 are on riverboats. Over the course of 2019, Magnolia State legislators considered three bills to expand mobile betting beyond these casinos. However, no legislation passed.
players to wager on sports via internet platforms authorized by the Mississippi Gaming Commission
SB 2396, put forward by DeLane on Monday, aims to amend section 97-33-1 of the Mississippi Code of 1972. It would enable players to wager on sports via internet platforms authorized by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. In terms of operator costs, the legislation does not set out the price of licenses or any tax terms. The bill says it shall take effect from and after July 1, 2021.
The will of Nebraskan voters
In November last year, Nebraska voters approved three initiatives. These paved the way for casino gambling to take place at the state’s six licensed horse racetracks. The vote occurred despite the best efforts of Secretary of State Bov Evnen, who initially refused to include the initiatives in the November 2020 general election ballot.
casino gambling to take place at the state’s six licensed horse racetracks
Proposed on Tuesday, Senator Tom Briese’s legislation sets out the parameters for state lawmakers to implement these initiatives, which would enable racetrack casino and sports wagering. In doing so, LB560 also establishes a number of customer protections, including a ban on credit card gambling. Accompanying bill LB 561 contains information to assist the Nebraska Racing and Gambling Commission in regulating the new market.
Briese said he proposed the bill to carry out the will of Nebraskan voters, despite previously opposing such legislation. “I believe this is legislation that respects the will of an overwhelming majority of the people, while leaving in place reasonable restrictions to prevent some of the abuses we see in other states,” he explained.
Washington lawmakers also back legislation
Washington State law only currently permits sports wagering at tribal casinos. Despite legalizing sports betting in March last year, those tribal sportsbooks are yet to go live in light of ongoing compact negotiations. However, legislation proposed by two lawmakers aims to expand the gambling market before it has even launched.
Senator Curtis King and majority floor leader Senator Marko Liias introduced SB 5215 to the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee last Wednesday. The measure would legalize mobile and retail sports betting at the state’s card rooms and racetracks. After backing a similar commercial sports betting bill last year, Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson is once again spearheading support for the new bill.