Connecticut Passes Sports Betting Bill While Mississippi Backs Off from Previous Legalization Push

After the Supreme Court of the United States decided to hear New Jersey’s sports betting legalization case, the topic began making its way in the Legislatures of several other states.

Generally speaking, New Jersey, a major casino hub with its Atlantic City-based venues, calls for the removal of a 25-year ban on sports betting at a federal level. The state has been fighting a legal fight to achieve this for several years now, but the Supreme Court’s decision from last month was the first bright indication that a change in the status quo may eventually happen.

If the US’ highest court nulls the portion of Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) that bans the provision of sports betting services to local customers at federal level, this would mean that individual states will be able to legalize and regulate the activity.

Encouraged by the latest developments, Connecticut hurried to prepare itself for the potential lifting of the federal sports betting ban. Gov. Dannel Malloy signed last week a bill that included a sports betting provision. The sports betting language was part of an omnibus gambling expansion package that, among other things, approved the construction of a casino, the state’s first commercial one.

Under the bill, Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection will be able to regulate the provision of sports betting services in a manner that complies with state and federal laws.

Mississippi was the other state that has recently appeared in news headlines in relation to the potential lift of the federal betting ban. Earlier this year, state lawmakers gave the nod to a daily fantasy sports piece of legislation. It emerged back then that the bill contained provisions that paved the way for the regulation of the sports betting market, if the federal ban is removed.

However, lawmakers, talking to local media, clarified last week that the approved legislation had nothing to do with sports betting and its intent was only to present a regulatory framework for daily fantasy sports. In their words, the framework’s primary purpose was to protect consumers and to hamper businesses from taking advantage of Mississippi residents.

It seems that the state is yet to make the necessary steps towards legalizing sports betting. However, there is an ongoing debate in that direction, which means that there is a certain amount of interest.

The Supreme Court’s decision to proceed with New Jersey’s sports betting case will likely encourage other states to consider the opportunity of opening their gambling markets to this type of service when and if the federal ban is removed. According to latest statistics, US-based bettors annually place around $150 billion in illegal bets on the sites of unregulated offshore operators.

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