Sports betting to make historic debut in Mississippi’s tribal casinos
Mississippi is about to get a taste of sports betting action, thanks to The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, which is rolling out the game in the coming weeks.
The Clarion Ledger reported that the Choctaw Tribal Council has approved betting at the Silver Star Hotel and Casino, Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, and Bok Homa Casino on May 31, making them the first casinos in the state to offer the game. The Choctaws may also go down in U.S. history as the first Native American Tribe to offer sports betting should things go smoothly as planned, according to the tribe’s officials.
Unlike in other states, the Choctaws doesn’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 Choctaws has hurdled all regulatory issues that may prevent them from launching sports betting in Mississippi.
The tribe said for the past six months, it has been preparing for the possibility that the ban on sports betting will be lifted. Fortunately, majority of the U.S. Supreme Court magistrates have ruled to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 for being unconstitutional.
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 game will bring.
In May, Mississippi gambling officials predicted that sports betting will be up and running within 45 to 60 days after the Supreme Court gives its decision on New Jersey’s petition. In anticipation of the SC ruling at that time, the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) has already laid out new sports betting regulations, which governs how betting will take place at the state’s 28 licensed brick-and-mortar casinos.
In a nutshell, casino patrons will be allowed to bet through their mobile phones under the proposed rules but they must be on the casino property in order for their wagers to be accepted. Funds can only be deposited into wagering accounts by a customer who is on the property.
There is a clause that allows regulators to impose “any additional conditions reasonably necessary on a licensee to address risks to the integrity of sport and sports betting,” so the leagues may not consider this fight lost just yet.
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