Mobile Sports Betting Expands in the USA

Mobile Sports Betting Expands in the USA

Could it be fourth time lucky for online sports betting in Mississippi? There have been three failed attempts to date to make accepting online sports bets in the state legal. It’s much better news in Arkansas though and gamblers could be betting online soon.

Now Representative Cedric Burnett has introduced House Bill 184. This has the aim of amending the Mississippi Code and allowing a “digital platform” to allow the acceptance of sports bets. At present, there are land-based licensees in the state but the wait for online betting continues.

There are no clear details in the bill concerning the number of operators a licensee would be able to partner with. It does mention “an operator” so that indicates there would be only one partner permitted. The operator would need approval from the state Gaming Commission. A manufacturer and distributors’ license would be required.

It was in August 2018 that the state of Mississippi legalized sports betting. They were one of the first to do so but three attempts to do the same for online gambling have all failed. Burnett introduced an online betting bill two years ago but that met an early end at the committee stage. The same happened again in 2020, then Senator Scott DeLane tried last year but like the previous two attempts never got past committee.

There’s been better luck however in another American state. The Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) has voted to allow online and mobile sportsbooks in the state for the first time. This now must be approved by the Arkansas Legislative Council at their next meeting scheduled for January 28.

It’s believed that the go-ahead will be given and that would mean plenty of tax revenue on the way. It’s estimated that the $1.2 million in tax revenue that was generated last year, will increase three-fold if mobile betting is made legal.

Arkansas Sports Betting

The sports betting industry in Arkansas is already progressing well. Legalizing mobile and online sports betting will take it to the next level. At present, only in-person sports betting at the three casinos in the state is allowed. They are some distance away from the main population centres in the state. The introduction of online and mobile sports betting will give gamblers easier access to sports betting.

Carlton Saffa is the Chief Marketing Officer at the Saracen Casino and commented: “We just opened up the market to three million people who are no farther away from their back pocket if they want to place a wager.”

Taxation is higher in this state with a level of 13% for the first $150 million in revenue. Above that level, it rises to 20%. 2021 saw sports betting generate $1.2 million in state tax revenue. At least 51% of mobile sports betting revenue will be retained by casinos if contracting with a third-party commercial sportsbook.

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