Mississippi – a Sleeping Sports Betting Giant Just Waiting to Be Awoken
And while it’s expected that the US Supreme Court will reject the 1992 PASPA, it’s still somewhat unclear what will happen next.
New Jersey will make the first move by legalizing sports betting, with nearly 20 other states to follow in its footsteps. However, one state, in particular, could strike gold and that’s Mississippi.
According to Daniel Wallach, a well-known gaming, and sports attorney, the Magnolia State has the potential to become a real sports betting giant.
This may sound a bit strange, but only to those who are not familiar with the state’s gambling industry. In fact, those who are acquainted with the current state of gambling in Mississippi would not only agree with Wallach but would make an even bolder prediction – that the state could become the Las Vegas of the South in the near future.
Awaiting the Supreme Court Decision
First of all, the sports betting legislation is already in place, after a daily fantasy sports bill was adopted last year. In addition to this, the state has introduced a subtle but a very significant change in language that represented an obstacle in moving forward for sports betting.
Commenting on this change, Tommy Shepherd, a gaming attorney and a partner at Jones Walker in Mississippi, said it completely changed the landscape.
Now, Mississippi can only wait for the decision of the Supreme Court. If PASPA gets repealed, things could move forward really fast. Shepherd says a legal sports wager could be in force by Labor Day, just in time for new football season.
Football is extremely popular among Mississippians, and the regulation of sports betting combined with that can prove to be very lucrative. The state would also be in a very favourable position since its neighbours are nowhere near any sort of sports betting legislation. In practice, this means Mississippi could attract customers from Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and even Florida.
Beginning of a New Era
The entire state could benefit from this. Take Tunica for example. Once a very popular gaming destination, its revenue has significantly decreased in the last couple of years, and sports betting could be Tunica’s lifeline. Shepard also pointed out the impact sports betting could have on this town.
Shepard estimated the state could earn from $50 to $150 million in gaming revenue.
Many sports betting operators are becoming aware of the potential Mississippi has, and William Hill, Sportradar, and Scientific Games are among them. Joe Asher, William Hill US Chief Executive Officer was present at a sports betting panel titled „Sports Betting: Challenges and Opportunities” at the annual Southern Gaming Summit at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi
A bright future for Mississippi could be just around the corner, and the possibility for it is very real. The Supreme Court will reach its decision as early as 14 May but not any later than 25 June. The decision that has the potential of completely changing the landscape of Mississippi.
“Las Vegas of the South“ is the possibility that may be realized very soon.
- GPWA: http://www.gpwa.org/article/mississippi-primed-to-become-las-vegas-south-with-the-introduction-of-sports-betting-225437
- Legal Sports Report: https://www.legalsportsreport.com/19163/mississippi-regulator-state/
- Clarion Ledger: https://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/04/29/mississippi-sports-betting/557795002/