Mississippi is about to get a taste of sports betting action, thanks to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, which hopes to roll out the product in the near future.
The Clarion Ledger reported that the Choctaw Tribal Council approved betting at the Silver Star Hotel and Casino, Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, and Bok Homa Casino on May 31. The Choctaws may go down in U.S. history as the first Native American Tribe to offer sports betting should things go as planned, according to the tribe’s officials.
Unlike in other states, the Choctaws don’t need the approval of the state Gaming Commission to offer sports betting in their gambling facilities. Sonny Johnson, who oversees the Choctaws’ casinos, said the tribe has hurdled all regulatory issues that might have prevented them from launching sports betting in Mississippi.
For the past six months, the tribe has been preparing for the possibility that the federal ban on sports betting would be lifted. Fortunately, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court magistrates ruled last month to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992.
Tribal chief Phyliss J. Anderson pointed out that sports betting will make tribal casinos competitive with other brick-and-mortar facilities in Mississippi due to the new customers that the product will bring.
In May, Mississippi gambling officials predicted that sports betting would be up and running within 45 to 60 days after the Supreme Court ruling. In anticipation, the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) laid out new sports betting regulations, which govern how betting will take place at the state’s 28 licensed brick-and-mortar casinos.
Casino patrons will be allowed to bet via mobile devices but they must be on casino property for their wagers to be accepted. Funds can only be deposited into wagering accounts by a customer who is on the property.