The Mississippi Gaming Commission unanimously approved regulations for sports betting on Thursday, allowing casinos to start taking bets as early as July 21.

Mississippi Sports Betting
A gambler collects a winning bet from the sportsbook at the South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. (Image: John Locher/AP)

The rules will allow for a wide range of betting options to be enjoyed at casinos throughout Mississippi, though it doesnt allow for remote wagering away from the resorts.

Growing List of Sports Betting States

The decision makes Mississippi the latest state to implement full-scale sports betting since the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May. Delaware and New Jersey have already opened sportsbooks, while states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania have taken steps towards doing so.

In Mississippi, no new licenses will be required in order for casinos to start taking bets. However, they may need to get approval from the gaming commission for certain types of equipment, such as kiosks that can take wagers.

Like in New Jersey, officials in Mississippi say that while sports betting may only directly create modest revenues for casinos, the offering could bring in customers who will then participating in other gaming and non-gaming activities.

Were excited about the type of customer this is going to attract to the state of Mississippi, Harrahs Biloxi general manager Jonathan Jones told Mississippi News Now. Folks will come in and theyll enjoy sports and sports are a big part of the culture here in the south.

College Betting OK, Mobile Apps Not Yet

In some areas, the Mississippi regulations are fairly loose compared to what has been seen in other states. The rules allow for betting on both professional and collegiate sports, with no restriction on betting on college teams based in the state. Betting on the Olympics will also be allowed. Non-sports wagers, such as those on political elections, are prohibited.

On the other hand, the guidelines do not allow for true mobile betting. While some casinos may offer the ability to bet from smartphones or with apps, gamblers will only be able to make those bets while on the casinos property, meaning they wont be able to set up an account for betting from home.

The Mississippi regulations also marked another loss for sports leagues in their fight to get integrity fees from states that regulate betting. MLB, NBA, and PGA officials have asked for as much as one percent of each bet on their competitions to go back to the their leagues in order to help them maintain the integrity of their contests. So far, no state has plans to collect such fees.

With only a month before they can start taking bets, casinos throughout the state are rushing to prepare themselves. At the Gold Strike in Tunica, construction is planned to build a provisional sportsbook inside the existing Pickle & Jam restaurant. Meanwhile, Caesars and MGM Resorts have announced plans to add more staff in order to handle sports betting at their venues.

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