Sports Betting Mississippi

The state of Mississippi, better known as the Magnolia State is one of the most permissive states. It joined a small group of other states that have legalized sports betting in 2017.

Even before the Supreme Court ruling that saw the banning of the 25-year PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in May 2018, the Magnolia state, in 2017 repealed a portion of its law which prohibited sports betting. At the time, the gaming officials noted that they were ready to move forward with the new regulations, but the federal ban stood in their way. The subsequent actions by the Supreme court, was, therefore, a great relief for sports betting enthusiasts in the Magnolia State.

In June 2018, the state of Mississippi legalized sports betting. The state accepted its first sports wager on the first day of August 2018 in Biloxi and Tunica, becoming the first state out of Nevada to provide single-game sports wagering.

Despite their speedy legalization and acceptance of sports betting locally, online sports betting Mississippi is yet to be legalized. All sports betting activities only take place in the authorized sportsbooks/ land-based casinos only.  And when it comes to online betting, the state of Mississippi only accepts online betting in games of skill and daily fantasy sports (DFS). Online betting on poker, horse racing, as well as online casinos are illegal in Mississippi.

Online Sports Betting in Mississippi

Online sports betting and online gambling in Mississippi is highly restricted in the Magnolia state with internet gambling illegal under the state law. The laws further note that while online gambling sites could advertise legal/ licensed forms of gambling, those sites must be legal in the place that the bets are received. It further states that it’s illegal for you to place bets online from Mississippi with the said “legal” or the “licensed” betting sites.

On the flipside, it seems as if the state desires to legalize some of the forms of online gaming genuinely. Every year, since 2012, there’s been an initiative pushing the state to legalize and regulate one form of online gambling, online poker. From 2012-2014, at least one lawmaker came up with legislation to regulate and then license online casinos and online poker sites. Unfortunately, the measures failed.

Legal Sports Betting Mississippi

Sports betting is legal in the state of Mississippi along with several other forms of gambling. The main reason for the legalization of sports betting in this state comes from a form of legislative trickery in the fantasy sports betting bill passed in 2017. This bill legalized sports betting, albeit quietly, by eliminating the restrictions which stopped casinos from offering sports betting services. This move did annoy anti-gambling lawmakers who introduced a bill reinstating state-level prohibition of sports betting. Their bill did not gain any traction, ending the resistance.

Despite the success in passing the bill, one thing had to be done before the commencement of sports betting in the Magnolia state – drafting of the rules and regulations to govern sports betting.

To streamline all activities, the regulatory power was determined to lie with the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The commission got started with the drafting of the regulations necessary for casinos to accept wagers on sports after the Supreme Court deemed the PASPA act unconstitutional. The commission’s regulations got approved in June 2018.

Following the approval, the casinos received the green light to take wagers on sports. Note that under the regulations, sports betting could only be offered by the licensed casinos. The licensed casinos would require authorization by the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s executive director.

The rules approved by the commission also stated that wagers could only be placed by interested persons within the premises of the casinos. The regulations further noted that customers could only place electronic and mobile wagers inside the casino. This is not, however, indicative of sports betting being legal online.


Casinos Taking on Sports Wagers in Mississippi

As mentioned above, the first sports wagers were accepted in Tunica and Biloxi on August 1st, 2018. Well, the casinos involved include:

IP Casino, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Boomtown, and Harrah’s Gulf Coast in Biloxi; and Gold Strike, Horseshoe Tunica, Sam’s Town, 1st Jackpot, Hollywood Casino Tunica, and Resorts casinos in Tunica.

The Bay St. Louis also recorded its first wagers on sports in August 2018 at the Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast casino.

Today, there are 23 fully-operational sportsbooks based in the commercial casino based in Mississippi. On top of the eleven operational sportsbooks above, there are twelve others. They include:

Ameristar Casino Hotel, Fitzgerald’s Tunica, Golden Nugget Biloxi, Palace Casino, Magnolia Bluffs casino, Isle of Capri, Harlow’s Casino Resort, Hard Rock Casino Biloxi, Riverwalk Casino Hotel, Island View Casino, Waterview Casino and Hotel, Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, Treasure Bay, and Silver Slipper Casino.

The other sportsbooks was launched by the Choctaw Tribe located becoming the first-ever tribal sportsbooks launched out of Nevada. The tribe launched the Pearl River Resort based in Central Mississippi. They also plan on introducing mobile betting on their property.

Mobile Sports Betting Mississippi

The Mississippi Gaming Commission controls/ regulates sports betting. It’s set various frameworks to ensure the implementation of sports betting in the 28 state casinos.

One of the sports betting regulations set is the one that covers mobile sports betting. While sports betting is generally acceptable, placing wagers electronically using your mobile device comes with extreme restrictions.

For you to place wagers using your mobile device, you must be within the confines of a licensed casino. But, that is not all. The licensed casino is required to specify an area within the casino’s boundary within which customers can place their mobile sports wagers. Also, the gaming commission’s Executive Director has to ensure and ascertain that the mobile gaming will not extend out of the boundaries of the casino’s property.

Online Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Betting

While online sports betting Mississippi is illegal, online DFS betting isn’t, and you can bet on DFS on FanDuel or Draftkings.

DFS was operational in the Magnolia State until 2016 when the DFS betting scene took a break. The break resulted from the Attorney General’s opinion of DFS as an activity meeting the state’s standard/ definition of illegal gambling. As a result, most of the DFS sites exited the Mississippi market. The exit was, however, temporary thanks to new legislation signed by Governor Phil Bryant.

This resolve by the governor was a temporary fix in the form of SB 2541. SB2541 was meant to expire after a year. So, lawmakers formed a task force during the year to study then propose regulations that would result in a legal DFS framework in the state.

The temporary bill had the following regulations:

  • For consideration as a DFS operator, one had to host a DFS contest for at least 100 people
  • The value of prizes was to be determined and announced before a DFS contest.
  • The winning outcomes were not to be based on the point spread, score, or the performance of one team or athlete
  • The provider had to offer self-exclusion programs to its customers
  • Employees and their relatives were prohibited from competing in the contests
  • No sharing of inside/ privileged information
  • The provider had to verify that their customers were above 18 years
  • The provider was required to disclose the total number of entries players were expected to submit per contest while setting the maximum allowable number of contest entries.

In 2017 March, Gov. Bryant signed into law a new bill which laid out a permanent legal framework on DFS’ regulation. The bill signed into law is HB 967. The bill maintained all the regulations set in the temporary bill while adding several other regulations.

For instance, the new bill prohibited the use of third-party scripts by DFS participants while enforcing the maximum number of entries for every player. The regulations also include the identification of the most experienced players using symbols that were visible to other players. The highly experienced players must have at least 1000 contests, or they should have won at least 3 individual prizes worth at least $1000.

The regulation of DFS within the Magnolia state is by the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The DFS operators pay a licensing fee of $5,000 good for 3 years while the online DFS sites pay an 8 percent tax on their net revenue.

Note: the new DFS laws eliminated the prohibition against sports betting. So, reading between the lines allowed the gaming commission to regulations sports betting activities.

Online Games of Skills

Games like Scrabble where interested persons play against other players for real money are regarded as games of skill. These games are 100 percent legal in Mississippi. You could participate in the sport legally on

The History of Gambling and Betting in Mississippi

You might not know this, but before Mississippi, there were Native Americans and settlers in Current-Mississippi. These persons engaged in card games and placed bets on horse races, among other sports. What this means is that betting/ gambling dates back centuries, if not decades.

There is also the fact that the positioning of the state of Mississippi at the mouth of the Mississippi River made the Magnolia state an economic hub in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. In particular, the Gulf Coast emerged as the destination for food, music, gambling, and sports. The casinos present at the time were frequented by renowned persons like Elvis, Jimmy Buffer, and Hank Williams, among others.

Recognizing the value of the casino’s clubs in existence, the state of Mississippi made formal the gambling industry by passing the Mississippi Gaming Control Act in 1990. The Act allowed the establishment of riverboat casinos within the coastal counties. Two years after the passing of the law, the first real casino opened its doors. This casino floated down the Mississippi River from Iowa all the way to its permanent home in Mississippi. The success of the casinos and the gambling industry as a whole gave the entire region a new lease of like until 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit. Katrina devastated Gulfport and Biloxi damaging, and in other cases destroying all the shoreline casinos.

The gambling industry was thriving which is why, even after the hurricane hit, the property owners vowed to rebuild. The government supported their wishes by changing the laws to allow the property owners to move their casinos onshore, within 800 feet of the shores. The government’s move aimed to avoid repeat disasters.

Currently, Mississippi’s Gulf region boasts the country’s third largest casino/ gambling market. It has about 30 operational casinos.

Online Casinos in Mississippi

Despite its exuberant land-based casinos, online casinos are illegal in Mississippi. However, something else stands out when it comes to casinos in the state: the fact that there are social casinos. Of the Mississippi properties, nine have social casinos.

Caesars has three properties Horseshoe Tunica, Harrah’s Gulf Coast, and Tunica Roadhouse. Penn National Gaming also has three properties: Boomtown Biloxi, Hollywood Tunica, and Hollywood Gulf Coast. There also is the Eldorado Resort with two social casinos: The Isle of Capri Lula and Lady Luck Vicksburg. The ninth social casino is the Riverwalk Casino Hotel.

The branded social outlets let their active and potential customers try games that are only present in the resident casinos.  These typical casino sites like the Double Down are available to all Mississippi residents.

Poker in Mississippi

Despite the strict laws on poker, the Magnolia state boasts a healthy legal poker industry. The leading casinos in the state host poker rooms with top tournament organizers visiting these casinos.

Unfortunately, you cannot play poker online. Also, the state is against the running of or the participation in poker at an unlicensed casino. Playing poker at a casino that is not sanctioned/ licensed to offer poker attracts a fine of $500 or imprisonment for a maximum of 90 days.

Lottery in Mississippi

Until the approval of a bill to create a state lottery in 2018 August, the state of Mississippi was one of the six states without a running lottery system. Unfortunately, the passing of the bill was not enough to have the state lottery up and running. Lawmakers note that it could take up to two years for the lottery to go live. At the moment, the state of Mississippi does not offer the lottery in land-based or online establishments.


Online sports betting Mississippi is still illegal. However, we’ll update you should things change.

Active US states for online gambling right now

US States examine online gambling