Two important gambling bills were up in the Mississippi House on Thursday evening – with one moving to the Senate while the other on the brink of getting tossed in the garbage bin.
Mississippi Business Journal reported that House Bill 967 passed the Congress after a second vote on Thursday, paving the way for the proper regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state. The bill has been forwarded to the Senate for scrutiny.
House Bill 967 aims to impose an eight percent tax on DFS operators and authorize the Mississippi Gaming Commission to regulate fantasy sports contests online or in casinos.
The measure, which is based on the recommendation of a study group formed after the state legalized fantasy sports contests last year, also gives the state regulator the power to conduct a background check on DFS operators, require them to get a state license and for the firms to be audited annually.
It will also empower regulators to strictly monitor operators for underage gambling. The state allows a person to place a bet if they are at least 21-years-old.
According to the report, House Bill 967 failed to pass Wednesday vote but was lucky enough to get a second leaf vote on Thursday.
Unfortunately, Mississippi’s State Lottery Bill wasn’t as lucky as the DFS regulation law.
The Clarion Ledger reported that the House shot down all three bills that could pave the way for establishment of a state lottery in Mississippi. Many thought that the three bills had potential before the hearing on Wednesday.
Hopes dimmed after House Speaker Philip Gunn ruled that a lottery amendment could not be added to a bill increasing prize money for charity bingo.
All is not lost for lottery advocates as the Senate, which takes a different view of some bills than the House, could consider a lottery proposal in a budget bill and face a later deadline for filing and passage.
Sen. Philip Moran has reportedly drafted a bill in the Senate and last week, senators found copies of Moran’s bill on their chairs with a Louisiana lottery ticket attached.
There is a growing support for the creations of a state lottery, which according to proponents will boost Mississippi’s coffers, which are currently in dire straits.