Mississippi Representative Bobby Moak does not seem to take no for an answer.He has reintroduced a bill that he introduced three times previously, to regulate online gambling in the state of Mississippi. This new bill, the Mississippi Lawful Gaming Act of 2015 (HB306) is rather similar to all the preceding bills he has put forward, and is in response to the US Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act of 2011. If passed, the planned date that it will come into effect is 1st July 2015.
The bill shows concern for the safety and well-being of the residents of the state of Mississippi,in that it states that effective licensing and regulation would protect vulnerable individuals, most importantly minors. Games could also be monitored to ensure that they are safe and fair.
There are also financial reasons which support the introduction of the bill. Currently, many jobs as well as potential tax revenue are taken away from the state to the benefit of illegal overseas operators. The introduction of a regulatory bill would increase employment opportunities and tax revenue as well as economic development opportunities.
The bill prescribes an exemption to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The internet will become authorized as a place in which bets can be placed and received.
Internet wagering permits would be issued by the Mississippi Gaming Commission to gambling licensees for $200,000, with an annual fee of $100,000 in order to renew the license. The State General Fund will collect a deposit of $100,000 from licensees annually, while the another $100,000 will go to the Gaming Commission to assist the fight against criminal activity on the internet.
Payments do not end there. Five percent of licensee’s gross gaming revenue will be paid in tax, of which 75% would be given to the Gaming Commission and the other 25% to the State General Fund.
Internet gaming contracts with interstate or international bodies will be allowed and the bill covers roulette, slots , keno, blackjack, craps, keno, baccarat, pai gow and poker. Bingo and raffles will not be included.