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Mississippi and West Virginia Are Getting Ready for Sports Betting

Publish: 06.07.2018
Mississippi and West Virginia are the latest states to have given the green light to new sports betting legislation, paving the way for the complete legalisation of wagering before the new NFL season starts.

This week, the Mississippi Gaming Commission approved sport betting-related regulations which will be in force at all 28 land-based casinos operating in this state.

Mississippi Looks Ready

Under the law, the new regulations will come into effect by the end of July, which is a great news for local players. MGM Resort has already announced its two Mississippi casinos will start offering sports betting from July 21.

The new legislation allows only land-based betting, while placing bets via mobile will be permitted only if the bettor is present at a casino. Under its provisions, operators will be required to pay a 12% tax on their revenue.

Unlike the laws in Delaware and New Jersey, the two states that have already made sports betting legal, Mississippi will allow betting on the state’s college sports.

According to available information, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is expected to adhere to the new legislations at all three casinos operated by the tribe.

What about West Virginia?

Last week, the West Virginia Lottery also approved new betting regulations, which will soon be sent to all four public casinos in the state and the private Greenbrier resort.

If all goes according to plans, West Virginia will launch sports betting in two months, although the speed will depend on the casinos themselves and their actions.

Commenting on these plans, Lottery Commissioner Alan Larrick said the goal was to launch sports betting before the new NFL season begins. He did add the wagering might not commence by the first kick-off, but pointed out the date would be close.

West Virginia will, however, allow online and mobile betting, while each of the state’s licensees will be allowed “no more than three individually branded online sports pool websites and accompanying mobile applications.”

Sports Betting

Taxes will be slightly lower than in Mississippi – 10%, while betting licenses will be set at $100,000 per year.

The new regulations will allow operators to use a certain portion of their revenue for promotional play, while the sum will be determined by the Lottery on a quarterly basis. On the other hand, “excess” promotional play will be regarded as taxable revenue.

Same as in New Jersey, West Virginia will introduce a nine-month period in which all of its betting licensees will be able to operate temporary sportsbook while the construction of their main venue is underway. Licensees will also be able to incorporate betting kiosks, though they will require regulator’s approval of the technology and location prior to their opening.

Unlike Mississippi, West Virginia may introduce an integrity fee of 0.25% of sports betting handle, which is an agenda pushed for by Governor Jim Justice himself. The regulations say nothing about it, though, but it could be imposed through commercial arrangements with operators in the state. It still remains to be seen whether this will actually come into force.