It's been an interesting few weeks as far as the legalization of online gambling is concerned. We've had the conditional veto in New Jersey which means it's a green light after a few minor changes and also the thumbs down for the Mississippi Bill which would have legalized gambling in the state. The Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2013 failed to get passed the first hurdle after it was double referred. This is the second year it has failed to garner support and although the state of Mississippi is a well know gambling destination with over 30 land based casinos the conservative Mississippi powers that be, appear to have a little something against online gambling. The bill, in fairness had a little trouble from the off and was opposed by many religious groups who have also stood against any form of gambling expansion in the state. The very same groups have also opposed a state lottery. Many supporters of the bill claimed that it would help the ailing gambling industry in the state, which has experienced a fair few set backs of late. Firstly Hurricane Katrina did a huge amount of damage on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Gulfport and Bay St. Louis in 2005. There is also the expansion of casinos in Florida and the legalization of 'racinos' in Arkansas as well as video bingo in Alabama. The bill, in part looked at giving residents a reason to stay within state borders as far as gambling entertainment was concerned. Bobby Moak proposed the bill did so in a response to the 2011 decision that online gambling was not covered by the wire act as long as interstate sports betting was in no way involved. The bill would have legalized online poker as well as casino games.
What now for Mississippi Residents?
For the residents of Mississippi, well they will simply continue as normal with those that do play online poker at rooms such as BetOnline Poker and Bovada Poker just carrying on doing so. Proponents of the bill in Mississippi must now rely on legalization at Federal level, however this is in no way about to happen in the short term as the DoJ has made it pretty clear that it's a state by state decision. With no law against online poker at Federal level then offshore rooms that provide a reliable and trustworthy service will continue to do play their part.