The Supreme Court decided to overturn the federal ban on sports betting Monday, but people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast ready to throw down cash should probably keep it in their wallets for now.
Yes, sports betting can happen in Mississippi, but residents can't do it on their phone or go to their favorite bar to place a bet.
Once sports regulations are in place, people will have to go to a casino to place a bet in Mississippi.
And several things still need to happen before bets can be placed at casinos:
▪ The public comment period on the proposed regulations is 25 days.
▪ Meanwhile, the casino operators have to apply to the Gaming Commission, be approved for sports bookmaking and prepare space inside the casinos.
▪ The Gaming Commission investigates and licenses the casinos or third parties that will be conducting the sports betting.
▪ Regulations are approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, which Allen Godfrey, executive director of the commission, said could be on the June agenda "if not sooner."
▪ The regulations become effective in 30 days.
The goal is to have sports betting open to the public at any Mississippi casino that is ready by late summer, if not sooner, said Godfrey.
Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association, spoke at the Southern Gaming Summit May 4 and urged Legislators to allow bets to be placed by a phone or tablet once people register at a casino, similar to Nevada regulations.
“I don't see that happening,” said Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, who wrote the legislation that legalized sports betting in Mississippi if it became legal in the United States.
Bennett said he sees the law at it stands as protection against underage kids from placing bets.
“You're going to have to go into the casino to bet,” he said.
Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort CEO LuAnn Pappas said legal sports betting is an "exciting opportunity" the D'Iberville casino plans to offer.
“We have been working on the possibilities for our sports betting operations and are looking forward to working with our regulators," she said.
"The timing could not be better," she said, "as we are currently under construction for two spectacular food and beverage venues as added amenities for our guests.”
Caesars Entertainment, parent company of Harrah's Gulf Coast, and MGM Resorts International, parent company of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, also announced they will offer sports betting as quickly as possible in states where it is legal.