Mississipi could revisit online gambling bill in 2014

mississippi-gamblingMississippi’s plan to legalize online gambling may have fizzled out in the past, but the state is still open to the idea of becoming the fourth state after Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey to officially open its doors to online gambling.

That point is being made very clear after the state’s House Gaming Committee chairman Richard Bennett (R-Long Beach) told the Sun Herald that lawmakers from the Magnolia State are carefully watching the launch of online gambling in New Jersey to see if there’s a place for it in its own borders.

Bennett also indicated that discussions on the issue are already being planned when legislative sessions open next year. It doesn’t mean that any action will be taken that soon, but it does go to show that there’s still a willingness, or at least a semblance of it, that remains from lawmakers in the state on the possibility of launching online gambling in the future.

State Representative Bobby Moak has been the biggest proponent of online gambling in Mississippi, having introduced separate bills in the past two years with the hopes of receiving enough support for the legislation to pass. Moak has been 0-for-2 on that plan, but the man has given no indication of giving up that easily. Sounds like Moak’s prepared to give it another go next year, although how much of a chance he’ll have will likely be determined by the short-term returns of online gambling in Delaware and New Jersey.

Either way, expect another bill to be proposed when the 2014 legislative session opens. Bennett has already gone on record saying he wants to license only companies that own casinos in Mississippi and if the proponents of online gambling get their wish, the state could follow Delaware and New Jersey down the online gambling road.

Easier said than done given the track record of previously proposed legislations, but the third time could be a charm, can’t it?