Mobile sports betting
Mississippi has a rather unique and sticky situation regarding mobile sports betting in the state. Specifically, the law requires that any mobile wagering must occur while the player is physically at the host casino.
So, it is possible for operators to offer a sports betting app to patrons. However, it will only function while the player has his or her feet on the property.
Needless to say, most operators have declined to pursue such an app so far. However, Mississippi’s lone tribal casino property, Pearl River Resort, is working to bring such an app into existence soon.
Pearl River’s unique property, which contains three separate casinos and quite a bit of acreage, potentially makes the app’s development worthwhile. However, the tribal operation is the only Mississippi group making any sort of effort in that direction.
Mississippi retail sports betting
In terms of the number of locations, Mississippi is second only to Nevada in the United States. Not even New Jersey surpasses the Magnolia State for the widespread availability of sportsbooks.
In fact, there are 24 sports betting locations throughout Mississippi. They are:
- Ameristar Casino Hotel (Vicksburg)
- Harlow’s Casino Resort (Greenville)
- Magnolia Bluffs Casino (Natchez)
- Riverwalk Casino (Vicksburg)
- WaterView Casino and Hotel (Vicksburg)
- Beau Rivage Casino (Biloxi)
- Boomtown Casino (Biloxi)
- Golden Nugget Biloxi
- Hard Rock Casino (Biloxi)
- Harrah’s Gulf Coast (Biloxi)
- Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis
- IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi)
- Island View Casino (Gulfport)
- Palace Casino (Biloxi)
- Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort (Biloxi)
- Silver Slipper Casino (Bay St. Louis)
- Treasure Bay Casino (Biloxi)
- 1st Jackpot Casino Tunica
- Fitzgerald’s Casino (Robinsonville)
- Gold Strike Casino Resort (Tunica)
- Hollywood Casino (Tunica)
- Horseshoe Casino and Hotel (Tunica)
- Sam’s Town (Tunica)
- Pearl River Resort (Philadelphia)
Mississippi Sports Betting FAQ
Can I bet online in Mississippi?
No. The law, although non-restrictive for activities inside the casinos, has no provisions for any type of device usage outside the properties. However, Pearl River Resort in Philadelphia, MS is working on this type of app.
As Legal Sports Report reported in March, it would take a separate piece of legislation to create a space for online play.
Can I play daily fantasy sports in Mississippi?
Yes. Gov. Phil Bryant signed the law into effect in March 2017. Mississippi became the tenth state to explicitly allow DFS play inside its borders.
Interestingly, this bill also removed language from the Mississippi Gaming Control Act that prohibited sports betting. So, the introduction of DFS also paved the way for sports betting in the state.
How old do I have to be to bet sports in Mississippi?
21. Players who are under 21 are forbidden from gambling in Mississippi casinos and, as a result, will not be allowed to access any sportsbooks.
Mississippi sports betting history
Mississippi’s place as one of the leaders in sports betting may be somewhat surprising, given its physical location in the deep South. However, Mississippi’s history with gaming goes back to the 19th century and the tradition of riverboat gambling.
As it happens, Mississippi is the third-largest gambling destination in the nation. There are roughly 30 casinos throughout the state. Most of Mississippi’s gambling occurs in Biloxi or Tunica.
The Magnolia State’s journey to legal sports betting began long before the US Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). In fact, Mississippi began looking at the concept five years ago.
Mississippi’s House Gaming Committee created a taskforce to study internet gaming in 2014. Sports betting appeared as one of the Internet Gaming Taskforce‘s items to study.
The study that the taskforce created looked at the industries in other states and some of Mississippi’s specific challenges. At the time, sports betting’s ban at the federal level reigned over the discussion.
As is the case with government actions, nothing happened for years after the taskforce concluded its work. Then, in 2017, Mississippi passed the Fantasy Contest Act (H 967) to allow daily fantasy sports in the state.
The addition of DFS to a state with an existing gaming industry is not big news. However, one small section of H 967 eliminated language from the Gaming Control Act.
Specifically, the language of the bill eliminated the following phrase:
No wagering shall be allowed on the outcome of any athletic event, nor on any matter to be determined during an athletic event, which does not take place on the premises.
So, by virtue of negation, the law now allowed for sports betting in Mississippi. Thus, Mississippi had legal sports betting due to a redacted section of a 1972 law.
With the legality in place, all that separated Mississippi from sports betting was a regulatory scheme. The Mississippi Gaming Commission was on the ball, and released a draft of regulations within hours of the PASPA decision in May 2018.
Three months later, on Aug. 1, two sportsbooks at Beau Rivage and Gold Strike opened their doors to the public. Shortly afterwards, three other books joined them, and Mississippi was off to the races.
In a way, it’s remarkable that so many sportsbooks have launched since August 2018. Even in gambling hotbed New Jersey, with two major population centers within driving distance, has only launched nine retail operations.
Long story short, Mississippi has definitely staked its claim as a sports betting destination in the US.