Online poker players from Mississippi received disappointing news last week when a bill aimed at legalizing the activity was killed in committee.
Rep. Bobby Moak introduced the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012 on Feb. 20, two months after the Department of Justice concluded that forms of gambling other than sports betting fell outside of the Wire Act of 1961. Moak's proposed measure aimed to legalize and regulate online gambling, including poker, within Mississippi state lines, and would have allowed gaming operators already holding licenses in the state to offer Internet wagering.
However, the bill failed to make its way through the Ways and Means committee and the Gaming committee on March 6, ending any hopes of the bill becoming a law.
Mississippi legalized gambling along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast in 1990 and has since approved the construction of 30 brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. Operators such as Caesars, Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts, which already hold gaming licenses in the state, would have had the first crack at an online gaming space.
Mississippi was one of six states to consider an intrastate online gambling bill. Other states that have introduced measures include New Jersey, Iowa, Nevada, California and Hawaii. Nevada is the only state to approve online poker regulations and has received more than 20 license applications from potential service providers.
*Photo courtesy of DreamsTime.com