On Wednesday, Mississippi became the latest state to introduce online gaming legislation. According to LegalPokerSites.com, Mississippi House Bill 1373, also called the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012, was filed by Rep. Bobby Moak. The bill seeks to legalize and regulate online gambling, including poker, within the state.
The 56-page bill goes into great detail and lays the foundation for regulation of online gaming by establishing policy and procedures for applicants, licensees, Internet service providers, employees and players.
Any company looking to conduct online gaming must be licensed by the Mississippi Gaming Commission and pay applicable fees, which “shall be not less than $200,000” for consideration of the license application, while a renewal fee of not less than $100,000 will apply.
Other highlights of the Mississippi House Bill 1372 include:
- Players must be 21 to play.
- "A nonrefundable deposit of at least One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) shall be posted with each application"
- "A person who is an employee of the gaming licensee conducting Internet wagering is prohibited from obtaining an Internet wagering account with that gaming licensee; however, the person may have an Internet wagering account with another gaming licensee that does not employ the person."
- Allows for deposits to be made either by cash, check, money order or charge.
- "No software, computer or other gaming equipment shall be used to conduct Internet wagering unless it has been specifically tested and approved by the commission."
- There are fines from $50,000 to $200,000 per violation if persons "knowingly alter, tamper, of manipulate software, computers or other equipment used to conduct Internet wagering."
- If a player’s account is inactive for at least a year, any funds are forfeited to the gaming licensee, who will be able to keep half while paying the other half to the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
Mississippi becomes the fifth state to consider an intrastate poker bill, joining Hawaii, New Jersey, Nevada, and Iowa. Nevada has adopted the bill and taken steps to make online gaming a reality, while Iowa recently sent a bill to the Senate State Government Committee for consideration.
*Photo courtesy of DreamsTime.com