Back to the Future: Gaming “Site Wars” Return to Mississippi

In the mid 1990s, the Mississippi Gaming Commission served as the battleground for numerous fights regarding the legality of gaming sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Many of those contests resulted in a series of cases that the Mississippi Supreme Court decided. In a set of disputes that are reminiscent of those days gone by, the Mississippi Gaming Commission recently reconsidered two controversial Gulf Coast sites.

Each of the sites had been previously considered—and rejected—by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, one in 2008 and the other in 2014. At issue in each case was whether the site was legal under the Mississippi Gaming Control Act. The act requires land-based gaming sites on the Mississippi coast to be within 800 feet of the mean high water line adjacent to certain statutorily mandated water bodies.

With three new Mississippi Gaming Commissioners, who were not sitting on the Commission in 2014, much less 2008, the applicants sought to have the two sites reconsidered. Continue Reading

Legal Update: Fantasy Sports in Mississippi

It’s “March Madness” in Mississippi. We take this opportunity to report on a new fantasy sports law that recently took effect in the State of Mississippi.

Following up on significant legislative efforts in 2016, the State of Mississippi has now reaffirmed its commitment to the legalization and regulation of paid-entry online fantasy sports. To provide some background, in 2016 Governor Phil Bryant signed Mississippi’s first fantasy-sports law into effect. In enacting this law, Mississippi legalized paid-entry fantasy sports for the first time. The law, however, was intended only to be a preliminary measure, beginning with the establishment of a Fantasy Contest Task Force to oversee the industry and to propose comprehensive guidelines to better regulate it in the future. The 2016 law marked a major victory for the fantasy-sports industry within the State of Mississippi, but the victory was thought to be short-lived, as the law was set to automatically expire in July of 2017.

In February of 2017, however, the Mississippi Legislature effectively extended the 2016 law, easily passing another piece of legislation to legalize and regulate paid-entry fantasy sports in the state. Governor Bryant signed the bill into law in March. Much like the 2016 law, Mississippi’s new law explicitly legalizes paid-entry fantasy sports. Yet, the new 2017 law does more. Continue Reading

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