Sports betting is illegal in Mississippi, as it is in all but 4 of the 50 states. But, as MBP’s Evelina Burnett reports, an industry group says it's big business nationwide.
The American Gaming Association estimates Americans will spend nearly $140 billion on illegal sports betting this year.
Chris Moyer is with the Association, which says it will work with the casino industry and regulators, along with law enforcement, legislators and professional sports groups, to look for alternatives to current sports betting laws.
"The industry has consensus now that the current approach to sports betting is not working," he says. "And what a lot of casinos - including ones in Mississippi - might find, is that it is another amenity that casinos can offer to attract customers."
Allen Godfrey is executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. He says it’s hard to gauge just how big an impact sports betting could have here since currently sports betting is essentially dominated by just one player, Nevada. The market would change, of course, if it's allowed everywhere. But he agrees it could be boost:
"I believe it would have a positive impact based on the amount of visitors that may come to the casinos to place bets and stay for a night or two, and use the non-gaming amenities," he says.
The American Gaming Association says it also wants clarity on the legal status of daily fantasy sports, and argues if it’s legal, the casino industry should be able to participate.
Mississippi’s Godfrey says the state is also looking at the issue of whether these fantasy sports are gaming or not, and should be issuing guidance in the near future.