• Join Us
  • Follow Us
Poker News

Online Gaming Bill Died in Mississippi

Written By: PokerNet.com | March 15, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

Unfortunately for Mississippi online gambling supporters, the Mississippi gambling bill died in the state legislature last week despite the Department of Justice’s relaxed grip on the issue of online gambling. Many states have already progressed in the world of online gambling, such as working on the legalization of the said bill on their own states. But this was not the case for Mississippi. On February 20, 2012, House Bill 1373, the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012, was introduced by State Representative Bobby Moak to the Mississippi House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and just after a few weeks, the negative result came out.

Moak, the first chairman of the House Gaming Committee, wrote in the Section 1 of the bill the following which states why online gambling should be legalized.

“An effective state regulatory and licensing system for online gaming would inhibit underage wagering and otherwise protect vulnerable individuals, ensure that the games offered through the Internet are fair and safe, stop sending much-needed jobs and tax and fee revenue overseas to illegal operators, provide a significant source of taxable revenue, create jobs and economic development, address the concerns of law enforcement, and ensure that only those persons of good character and fitness, who meet strict criteria set forth in law and regulations, are suitable to facilitate and conduct online gaming activities.”

Moak witnessed how the bill died.  “I don’t believe folks have been following the issue very closely,” he said.

Despite this, Moak hopes that the result of the bill was not because of pure opposition, but instead, lack of understanding among his colleagues. “We’re in a state that is also politically charged anytime you are going to discuss gaming issues, liquor issues, or any so-called ‘sin’ issue,” he said. “There are just not an awful lot of volunteers who want to get out there and tackle those.”

He thinks that the bill, when passed would be a great addition to the state’s asset. Mississippi’s 30 commercial casinos had gross gaming revenue of $2.39 billion in 2011, the smallest figure since 1998. Gambling in the state became legal in 1990. But he admitted that he doesn’t have the “pulpit” to bring everyone together in legalizing online gambling.

According to Moak, online gaming legislation is simply trying to regulate what is already happening on the Internet. “It just allows the states, greedily, to capture those taxes. Every state should be aware of that, especially those who have gaming facilities or assets.”

“Mississippi just happens to be in the Bible Belt,” he added.

Although Moak said that he was disappointed with the result of the bill, this doesn’t mean that he’s giving up on it. The issue isn’t drawing dead and he plans on reintroducing the legislation.

Source: Card Player

Leave a Reply