Filed on February 22, 2012, the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012 otherwise known as Mississippi House Bill 1373 didn’t make it past the first round. In just a few short weeks after being filed, the measure failed to get the three-fifths vote required in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
When the Department of Justice sent out a letter declaring its stance on the 1961 Interstate Wire Act, it was made clear that it only applies to betting on sports events or contests. Therefore, the Wire Act does not pertain to all online gambling. This opened a road for states to enter into legislation acts that allow online gambling in those states. But, Mississippi seems to be at a lock.
Democrat member Bobby Moak introduced the bill in Mississippi legislation and believes that it might just be a lack of understanding. He said, “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.” But, Mississippi is coming up in the industry. With statutes that closely resemble Nevada’s and to some degree New Jersey’s, Mississippi’s gambling industry has been growing since gambling itself became legal in Mississippi in 1990.
It’s quite possible that the legislation will be re-introduced at some point in the near future. Bobby Moak certainly plans on it. But, it will probably take a long discussion between lawmakers and the casino giants to write up the legislation so that it will be easier to pass, easier to swallow for a state in the middle of the Bible Belt.
For now though, Mississippi won’t be changing its stance when it comes to online gambling. Bill 1373 just might hold a record for the fastest death ever in legislation. From introduction to kill in two weeks, Bobby Moak just might have his hands full for awhile on getting Mississippi to accept any online gambling legislation. But, it eventually will happen. It’s about time all states start to see the value in loosening up on online gambling laws and regulations.