The Mississippi Legislature, struggling for ways to fund state government in the midst of sluggish revenue collections, should have at least a little help on the way.
On Wednesday, the 52-member Senate approved with six no votes and sent to Gov. Phil Bryant legislation regulating and taxing fantasy sports. If Bryant signs the legislation into law, it will mean a new source of revenue for the state.
House Gaming Chair Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, said he does not expect fantasy sports to generate a lot of revenue for the state, but, “I think it will grow.”
Fantasy sports is generally played online where individuals compose teams from real sports leagues and winners are determined by the statistical results of the online teams created by the participants.
Participants pay to play and have an opportunity to win based on the performance of the teams they compile.
Under the legislation heading to Bryant, a tax will be collected on 8 percent of the fantasy sports operators’ Mississippi earnings – just like the state tax paid by casinos. Casinos, though, also pay a 4 percent local tax.
Bennett said it is difficult to estimate how much the tax will generate because there is little information to glean from other states.
“They are just now doing what we are doing,” he said.
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