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Volume 25 No. 175

Gambling

Mississippi collected $188,000 last month in sports betting revenue
Photo: SCARLET PEARL CASINO

Gamblers have wagered $116M on "sporting events at Mississippi casinos" since sports betting started in August, resulting in a "modest" $1.03M in tax revenue for the state, according to Bobby Harrison of MISSISSIPPI TODAY. The state "collected $54,000 in revenue" during August, which compares to $188,000 last month. Mississippi Gaming Commission Exec Dir Allen Godfrey said that there are still a "few of the state’s 28 casinos not offering sports wagering." Mississippi was the "third state to offer sports betting" after the SCOTUS ruling (MISSISSIPPI TODAY, 12/14). In Memphis, Rudy Williams notes Shelby County (Tenn.) Commissioners will "ask state lawmakers to pass sports betting." Commissioner Van Turner said that people from Shelby County are "taking their cold hard cash to Mississippi to play." Turner: "You could see Memphians heading down there in streams" (LOCALMEMPHIS.com, 12/12).

NEXT UP? In Minnesota, Peter Callaghan noted legislation is already being "drafted for the Minnesota Senate" to take up sports betting in '19, and "negotiations have already begun." There are 11 Native American tribes in Minnesota that "operate gambling facilities through compacts negotiated with the state." But attorney Kevin Quigley said that the state legislature is "free to authorize sports betting for nontribal gambling without the consent of the tribes." Minnesota state Rep. Pat Garofalo's draft bill would "allow a new sports gambling board to decide issues such as which sports and leagues could be wagered on, and what the betting structure would look like." The Univ. of Minnesota, for example, would have a "say on whether its sports could be involved" (TCBMAG.com, 12/13). Meanwhile, Indiana state Rep. Alan Morrison said that sports betting will be "one of the big topics of this upcoming legislative session" (WTHITV.com, 12/12).

HOOP HOPES: NBCSPORTS.com's Tom Haberstroh noted "none of the eight states with legal sports betting have included an integrity fee" for leagues. Still, NBA Senior VP & Assistant General Counsel Dan Spillane and the league's lawyers "continue to make their case that the NBA deserves a cut off the top." Spillane said, "It has been a part of several bills that have been introduced in various states over the course of the year including a couple that came very close to passage. We view this as the very beginning of the process." Haberstrok noted Caesars Entertainment has reason to be "bullish about officially getting into the NBA space." Caesars Senior VP/Marketing & Chief Experience Officer Michael Marino envisions that in early '19, fans "seated inside Wells Fargo Center can open up their Caesars app on their phone and bet on the game." Marino "doesn’t think Wells Fargo Center will have a sportsbook any time soon, but it’s not out of the question for Caesars to open up a sportsbook on-site down the road" (NBCSPORTS.com, 12/13).