Following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling declaring the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional, the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s Executive Director has stated a goal of having legal sports betting in Mississippi casinos by the end of June.
Draft regulations have circulated for weeks, and it is only a matter of time before final regulations are published, approved and implemented. If the MGC goal is correct, draft regulations could be published for public comment this Thursday and final regulations promulgated in June.
What does this mean for licensed casinos? Mississippi casinos affiliated with Las Vegas casinos that have sports books could find themselves with a short term advantage over those casinos in Mississippi without such affiliations. The latter group will have to wait a while longer for sports betting suppliers to be licensed and approved for gaming in Mississippi while the former may transfer their experienced race and sports book employees to their sister Mississippi properties right away.
But even those licensees with sports books affiliates in Las Vegas will require some lead time to amend internal controls and obtain work permits for race and sports book employees, among other regulatory approvals that will appear in the final regulations.
Regardless of the time by which most casinos in the Magnolia State will have legal sports betting on their properties, Mississippi most likely will gain a significant head start on its surrounding states. This may yield an increase in tourism to the state and a resulting increase in gaming and other revenues.