A state that is relatively small when compared to others in the United States, Mississippi finds itself at the forefront of gambling laws, especially when it comes to sports betting. This page will review the current state of all gambling laws in Mississippi and what could change in the future.
Sports Betting in Mississippi
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2018, it opened the floodgates for individual states to legalize sports betting. Some state like Mississippi, which are packed full of sports fans, couldn’t have been more excited about this turn of events. The Mississippi government did not waste much time at all in passing legislation, and by Agust of that year, the first legal sports bets were being taken in the state.
The legislation outlined that any current gaming license holder could apply to have sports betting on their premises. This means a total of 30 sportsbooks could open, and to date, there are 21 live and running for Mississippi residents to bet on their favorite teams. The initial numbers after the first year were promising, so we can expect the full complement of 30 to be open in the near future.
Online Sports Betting
Although Mississippi was one of the first states to take on the idea of regulating sports betting, the first piece of legislation did not include provisions for online on mobile bets. Today, you can make a wager from your mobile device, but only within the physical footprint of any sportsbook location. This is no advantage for players who don’t want to have to travel all the way to a sportsbook to make their bets.
Looking at the revenue number from Mississippi in the early stages of implementation, and the high percentage of handle in other states coming from online and mobile betting, it would not be shocking to see an amendment to the current law allowing those who are licensed to offer retail sports betting to expand to digital versions of those books. The 2020 legislative session is likely to include a spirited discussion on the topic, and if other states in the region start allowing mobile betting you can be sure that Mississippi will not be far behind.
For the time being, any residents of Mississippi that simply have to make some online wagers can turn to the many offshore-based sportsbooks that are still accepting players from the United States. This can be a risky option as there is no oversight coming from the state government, but they have been taking wagers successfully for a couple of decades.
Horse Betting in Mississippi
Considering the progressive measures taken by the state when it comes to regulated sports betting, you would think that it would also feel the same about horse racing and betting. However, that is not the case in Mississippi, as there is no legal pari-mutuel betting of any kind in the state. There are no tracks for dog and horse racing, and even if you wanted to make a bet, there are no licensed off-track betting sites offering simulcast races from around the country.
Online Horse Betting
Many states allow companies like Twinspires and DRF Bets to offer online horse betting to their residents despite thee companies not being licensed in each individual state. However, since Mississippissipi has banned pari-mutuel betting, these companies do not offer their services in the state. As a result, anyone who wants to bet on horses needs to travel to a neighboring state to do so.
Casino Gambling in Mississippi
There has been a long history of casino gambling in the state, starting with the riverboat casinos that have been around for ages. There is now a large, booming land-based casino industry in Mississippi, mainly centered about Biloxi and Tunica. Both of these cities have massive casino resorts that look similar to what you would find in Atlantic City, and there have been many large poker tournaments held in these casinos. Casino players will find a full set of table games in these properties, as well as thousands of different slot machines on casino floors.
Online Casinos in Mississippi
Even though there are 30 land-based gaming options for residents of Mississippi, there remains no legal option for gamblers to play slots and table games from outside those properties. Given the changes in legislation around sports betting and the idea that the state will need to discuss adding online sportsbooks sooner than later, there is some hope for those who want to play casino games online as well. It would be straightforward for the state to simply add all digital gambling to an amendment, but there is no indication from lawmakers that this is even in the discussion today.
Lottery in Mississippi
Unfortunately for residents of Mississippi who want to try to become an instant multi-millionaire in games like Powerball and Mega Millions, they will have to travel to another state to buy tickets. For some reason, there continues to be no state lottery in Mississippi, making it one of only 5 states that choose not to have a charitable lottery.
Mississippi Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Mississippi?
Congratulations, you lucky residents of Mississippi! Since August 2019, you have been able to make sports bets legally at sportsbooks all over the state. These retail properties have ballooned in numbers to 21 by the end of 2019, and it is expected that all 30 of the potential licenses will be executed upon by the end of 2020.
When will online sports betting be legal in Mississippi?
It is hard to say with any accuracy when online sports betting will be added to the gambling mix in Mississippi. However, when state lawmakers look at the results coming from states that already offer online and mobile betting, they will think long and hard about expanding in their state. We expect his to be a topic discussed in the 2020 legislative session, and with any luck the gambling bill will be amended to include these channels during that session.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Mississippi?
With no legal option for online sports betting in Mississippi, we understand that residents are using offshore sportsbooks for their gambling solutions. While we don’t officially recommend playing offshore, we do want to make sure you have the safest time possible should you choose this option. So, we tend to look for sites with the best promotions, the best customer service and the shortest wait times for withdrawals so you can get your winnings out as soon as you can!