02/23/2012 : Yet another US state to consider the internet option
Surprise of the week is the introduction Wednesday of a bill to legalise internet poker in the traditionally conservative state of Mississippi.
According to the publication Legal Poker Sites.com, the new initiative on House Bill 1373 is authored by Representative Bobby Moak and titled the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012. It is understood to contain proposals for the establishment of a legislative framework for the introduction of online gambling within the state.
The bill's introductory language states: "An effective state regulatory and licensing system for online gaming would inhibit underage wagering and otherwise protect vulnerable individuals, ensure that the games offered through the Internet are fair and safe, stop sending much-needed jobs and tax and fee revenue overseas to illegal operators, provide a significant source of taxable revenue, create jobs and economic development, address the concerns of law enforcement, and ensure that only those persons of good character and fitness, who meet strict criteria set forth in law and regulations, are suitable to facilitate and conduct online gaming activities."
It goes on to assert: "The state regulation of legal gaming in this state, and the provisions of this [Act], prescribe a lawful exemption to UIGEA," adding that the Department of Justice has ‘vacated' any action under the Wire Act by confirming that this law only applies to online sports betting.
The bill then sets out regulatory and licensing requirement proposals that the regulating body will apply to applicants for a licence, along with fees and permit requirements, financial and administrative procedures, precautions against underage gambling and punitive measures for non-compliance, software tampering or illegal operators.