Mississippi Sports Betting

Believe it or not, Mississippi was one of the frontrunners for legalized sports betting.

In 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act to open the door for state-regulated wagering. But Mississippi had already begun the process a good year before this landmark decision.

The Magnolia State in 2017 repealed a portion of its state law that criminalized sports betting, as legislators had already started preparing to craft regulations for legal wagering.

Where college football is king, where gambling has existed for centuries, Mississippi wasted little time capitalizing on the Supreme Court’s PASPA ruling. Rules were drafted within hours of that 2018 decision, applications began trickling in a month later, and on Aug. 1, 2018, the industry opened.

Now, 29 properties in the state offer regulated wagering, though the industry essentially remains limited to water- and land-based casinos. Online sports betting technically exists, but only while bettors are physically at one of those properties. BetMGM Sportsbook went live in September 2021.

Here’s a deep dive into the current state of Mississippi sports betting, how it came to be and where it could go.

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Latest updates on Mississippi sports betting

Last updated: October 2, 2020

It should come as no surprise that the return of major sports helped Mississippi sports betting boom in August.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission reported a nearly 28% year-over-year increase in regulated wagering revenue for August.

Operators in the state combined for some $3.7 million, a sizable spike from July’s $1.3 million total. Bettors in August placed over $40.4 million in bets, again a seismic shift from the $7.9 million handle the previous month.

Basketball accounted for just under $20 million in August handle, while baseball generated nearly $10 million.

Basics of legal sports betting in Mississippi

Gambling seems something of a pastime in Mississippi.

With the Mississippi River providing ease of access, the Magnolia State quickly became a hub for explorers and travelers. This allowed the masses to take part in horse betting and card games, among other activities.

Eventually, the state developed into the nation’s third-largest casino market.

But it wasn’t until 2018 when legal sports betting emerged — for a variety of reasons, obviously, not the least of which was federal prohibition.

Still, the industry quickly boomed, as now nearly 30 retail sportsbooks exist throughout the state, paying 12% tax on revenue.

Where can I make legal sports bets in Mississippi?

Destinations abound for those looking to take part in Mississippi sports betting.

However, bettors will need to head to a casino in order to do so. The law limits regulated wagering to on-site properties, including any online betting.

Legislators have attempted to enact measures to expand the allowance of mobile wagering. Two bills to authorize full online access failed, however: one in 2019 and another in early 2020.

As a result, bettors in Mississippi can only access legal sportsbooks at the following locations:

Bok Homa CasinoIGTBoth
Golden Moon Hotel & CasinoIGTBoth
Silver Star Hotel & CasinoIGTBoth
1st Jackpot Casino TunicaWilliam HillRetail
Ameristar Casino Hotel VicksburgWilliam HillRetail
Beau Rivage Resort & CasinoMGMRetail
Boomtown Casino BiloxiWilliam HillRetail
Fitz Tunica Casino & HotelFoundation Gaming GroupRetail
Gold Strike Casino ResortMGMRetail
Golden Nugget Biloxi Hotel & CasinoGolden NuggetRetail
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino BiloxiHard RockRetail
Harlow's Casino ResortBetAmericaRetail
Harrah's Gulf CoastCaesarsRetail
Hollywood Casino & Resort Gulf CoastWilliam HillRetail
Hollywood Casino & Hotel TunicaWilliam HillRetail
Horseshoe TunicaCaesarsRetail
IP Casino Resort SpaFanDuel SportsbookRetail
Island View Casino ResortWilliam HillRetail
Isle of Capri Casino Hotel LulaWilliam HillRetail
Casino VicksburgWilliam HillRetail
Magnolia Bluffs CasinoMBC SportsbookRetail
Palace Casino ResortWilliam HillRetail
Riverwalk Casino HotelBetAmericaRetail
Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling HallFanDuel SportsbookRetail
Scarlet Pearl Casino ResortDraftKings SportsbookRetail
Silver Slipper Casino HotelWilliam HillRetail
Treasure Bay Casino and HotelWilliam HillRetail
Trop GreenvilleWilliam HillRetail
WaterView Casino & HotelWilliam HillRetail

What sports can I bet on in Mississippi?

As typical with most state-regulated sports betting industries, Mississippi operators are authorized to offer wagers on all major pro and college sports.

The latter category certainly attracts plenty of attention, what with the state located in the heart of SEC country.

Of course, betting on major sports carries the load. Those obviously include baseball, basketball and football. Add in hockey and Mississippi features all four professional sports for betting.

Aside from college sports, Mississippi sportsbooks also take action on an array of “other” sports, including:

  • Auto racing
  • Boxing
  • Golf
  • Mixed martial arts (MMA)
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Betting on pro, college teams from Mississippi

Unfortunately, Mississippi is not home to any major professional franchises. Fortunately, that does not diminish the ardent fandom permeating the state.

No doubt there are a number of residents with strong attachments to pro teams, certainly with New Orleans located nearby. And Memphis is just over the northern border into Tennessee.

But the king of all sports in Mississippi has long been and will always be college football.

The upside to legal sports betting in Mississippi is that no matter your preference, sportsbooks allow you to put skin in the game with your favorite team, from professional to major college sports:

  • New Orleans Pelicans (NBA)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
  • New Orleans Saints (NFL)
  • Mississippi Rebels (SEC)
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs (SEC)
  • Southern Miss Golden Eagles (C-USA)

What is the minimum age for legal sports betting in Mississippi?

The legal gambling age in the Magnolia State stands at 21 years old. Naturally, that standard extends to legalized sports betting. In fact, no individual under the age of 21 is allowed on casino floors.

The same age requirement exists for those wanting to take part in pari-mutuel wagering.

Who regulates Mississippi sports betting?

The state charged the Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) with regulation and oversight of legalized sports betting.

This group developed draft rules soon after the Supreme Court repealed PASPA and has since helped the industry grow in Mississippi.

When the Mississippi Gaming Control Act was established in 1990, so, too, was the MGC. Initially, oversight of gambling in the state went to the Mississippi State Tax Commission. In 1993, though, the baton was passed to the MGC, which also regulates charitable gambling.

Background of Mississippi gambling law

The 1990 passage of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act authorized the opening of riverboat casinos in coastal counties. Following irreparable damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the state amended the law to allow these casinos to move onto the shore but within 800 feet of the water.

In 2014, the House Gaming Committee birthed the Internet Gaming Taskforce, which was tasked with studying online gambling. Of course, sports betting was among the items examined.

By relating to regulated markets in other states while detailing obstacles in Mississippi’s path, the group concluded that “actual revenue generated” from internet gambling was “far behind the revenue projected.” The panel noted “technology issues” faced by Mississippi and added that, in regard to sports betting, “it is still uncertain as to whether a state can overcome the federal ban.”

Of course, that federal prohibition ultimately tumbled. Before that, though, Mississippi instilled hope for regulated sports betting.

In 2017, the state legalized daily fantasy sports courtesy of the Fantasy Contest Act. Of note, the law struck out a clause of the Gaming Control Act of 1972 that prohibited wagering on the outcome of any athletic event. With this amendment, Mississippi opened the door for state-regulated sports betting.

Three months after the fall of PASPA, that industry indeed came to fruition. On Aug. 1, 2018, the state’s first legal wagers were accepted at Beau Rivage and Gold Strike, kicking off a new era in Mississippi gambling.

Mississippi Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Mississippi?

Yes. Legal sports betting in Mississippi went live Aug. 1, 2018.

Is online sports betting legal in Mississippi?

Technically, yes. However, Mississippi only permits online wagering while on the premises of a casino licensed to conduct regulated sports betting.

How old do I have to be to place a legal wager in Mississippi?

The legal gambling age in Mississippi is 21.

Who regulates Mississippi sports betting?

This responsibility rests with the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

Where can I bet on sports in Mississippi?

Regulated wagering is limited to water- and land-based casinos in the state, including any online sports betting. This includes all 29 properties that are licensed to conduct legalized wagering.

Is participating in daily fantasy sports legal in Mississippi?

Yes. The Fantasy Contest Act of 2017 allowed for daily fantasy sports to exist in Mississippi. Of note, it also eliminated language prohibiting sports betting, which opened the door for regulated wagering.

Can I bet on Mississippi sports teams?

Yes. While the state does not feature hometown pro franchises, it does boast a number of major colleges, which sportsbooks can take action on.

The list of in-state colleges and surrounding sports teams includes:

  • Mississippi Rebels (SEC)
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs (SEC)
  • Southern Miss Golden Eagles (C-USA)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (NBA)
  • New Orleans Saints (NFL)
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