Mississippi Becomes 12th State to Legalize DFS BettingMarch 15, 2017 1:34 pm
Mississippi has become the first US state to pass daily fantasy sports (DFS) legislation in 2017, and one of only a dozen states overall since Virginia pioneered the way back in March 2016. The list of other states which have also regulated the online game includes Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia.
Furthermore, a total of 22 states now have DFS regulation in place, or are seriously considering introducing bills, with just 5 states openly banning the game, namely Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, and Washington.
In January, Mississippi State Rep. Richard Bennett introduced his piece of legislation called HB 967, which then sailed through both the state House and Senate, before being signed into law on March 13th by state Governor Phil Bryant (photo). HB 967 is subsequently expected to officially become law on July 1st.
According to HB 967, those operators applying for a permit will have to pay a minimum of $5,000 for a three-year license, with all applicants being screened, and audited annually. They will also be taxed at a rate of 8% on their net revenues, which according to the bill, is defined as “the total of all fantasy contest entry fees that an operator collects from all players, less the total of all sums paid out as cash prizes.”
It is hoped that Mississippi’s ailing economy will be helped by the game’s legalization, with some estimates placing its annual projections at around $5 million. However, considering the Magnolia State’s yearly budget is $6 billion, DFS regulation is likely to be of only any real benefit to those who enjoy playing the game.
While the DFS movement seems to be making headway in the US, online poker, on the other hand, continues to languish with many politicians prepared to accept the skill-based argument for daily fantasy sports, but poker losing out in the “luck versus skill” debate.