Gambling Revenue Decline Spurs Online Gaming Legislation in Mississippi

Published July 5, 2014 by Lee R

Gambling Revenue Decline Spurs Online Gaming Legislation in Mississippi

With land-based casino revenues down, the Mississippi legislature is considering online gaming as an economic remedy.

Casino revenues are dropping in Mississippi. According to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, numbers from 22 of the last 24 months reflect lower revenues when compared to the same months of the previous calendar year.

Declining Revenues Force Physical Closures

May 2014 intake shows a drop of $20 million statewide from the previous calendar year, a reduction rate of 10.6%.

Land-based closure's such as Harrah's in June reflects decreased gaming revenue and employment opportunities that affect the local economy. State neighbor Louisiana also reports a bottoming out of gaming revenues.

Regional Land-Based Competition

Alabama native American outlets have had an effect on river and land-based physical casino competition in the gulf states, but less predictable gambling forecasts, and hopes, lie with the online gaming sector.

Online State Task Force

In response, Mississippi House Gaming Committee Chairman Richard Bennett has commissioned a task force for 2014 to examine the impact of online gaming on the small number of states that have already legalized and regulated online gaming.

How Fed Legalized Online Gaming

The national legislation which has opened the door for states' consideration is rooted in a 2011 US Justice Department ruling updating interstate betting ban contained in the Wire Act of 1961. The ruling clarified that said wire act only applied to a "sporting event or contest," and placed all other gambling activities, operations and services outside the scope of the act.

This opened the door to online gaming as long as it does not include or offer sports betting in any way. In other words, the interstate betting ban contained in the Wire Act of 1961 was updated to apply only to sports betting, while other forms of betting were designated as falling outside the confines of the ban.

Online Gaming Remedy

It is hoped that the online gaming legislation will enable the state of Mississippi to get a grip on its struggling economy issue.


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