Mississippi was one of only a few states that legalized sports betting at the state-level well before it actually became federally legal. The only thing standing in the way of legal sports betting in Mississippi was the Professional and Amatuer Sports Protection Act of 1992, also know as PASPA. When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down PASPA in May 2018, the Mississippi Gaming Commission released a draft of sports betting regulations within hours.

It was always evident that Mississippi would be among the first states outside of Nevada to enter the sports betting market, and on August 1,  Mississippi began accepting sports wagers. Excluding Nevada, Mississippi was the third state to offer full-scale sports betting, behind only Delaware and New Jersey.

Mississippi’s speed to the sports betting marketing isn’t entirely surprising. Mississippi is currently the US’s third-largest casino region, with over 30 land or water-based gambling properties. The Gulf Coast’s economy is fueled in part by sports and gambling, so it makes sense the state would act quickly to embrace and offer sports betting.

While there was some hope early in 2019 for online/mobile sports betting, that hope quickly died as both a house bill and senate bill failed to meet the deadline to advance to committee. The annual legislative session ends April 7, and there are hopes to bring these bills back to the forefront in the new year. There are many concerns by legislators in the very conservative state, such as underage gambling and problem gamblers, and it may take a significant amount of time before online/mobile wagering could get through.

Currently, gambling and sports betting in Mississippi must take place on the property of  land or water-based casinos. The first casinos taking sports bets in Mississippi include Beau Rivage, Gold Strike, Sam’s Town, Horseshoe and IP Casino.

There are no regulations for Mississippi online sports betting or mobile apps. However,  a new bill, HB 774, a resolution that would legalize racebook and sportsbook betting in the state, has just passed the Senate floor and has now moved on to the House for final approval. Some casinos have electronic betting, but it’s only for on-site customers. We believe online and mobile sports betting in Mississippi is coming at some point, but there are no immediate plans.

For those of you eager for news about Mississippi online sports betting and mobile apps, we encourage you to watch this space for more Mississippi sports betting content from RotoGrinders. We will eventually have online sportsbook reviews , but in the meantime, we’re happy to be your expert on all things Mississippi sports betting!

Mississippi Sports Betting Legislative Landscape

You can get a complete look at the state of the sports betting legislative landscape of Mississippi by reading the state’s sports betting regulations here.

What follows is a summary of Mississippi’s legislative landscape with regard to sports betting:

Mississippi’s Sports Betting History

Due to PASPA, essentially no other state outside Nevada has ever had legal, full-scale sports betting. However, Mississippi’s culture and history are steeped in gambling, and the natural fit between the state and sports betting has flourished over the last five years.

In 2014, a group called the Internet gaming Taskforce was put together by the House Gaming Commission. Later that year, the taskforce issued a report after an extensive fact-finding study on sports betting. The conclusion of the reported stated the following:

“The Internet Gaming Taskforce has researched the topic of Internet gaming and sports betting and the facts are submitted in the above report. To date, it appears that the actual revenue generated is far behind the revenue projected by the introduction of Internet gaming. In addition, it would seem the most likely way for Internet gaming to be productive is for states to form compacts with each other, in order to make the payoffs attractive. As for sports betting, it is still uncertain as to whether a state can overcome the federal ban.”

A few years later in 2017, daily fantasy sports (DFS) became officially legal in Mississippi when the state passed bill H 967, also known as The Fantasy Contest Act.  Also of note with regard to sports betting, H 967 removed the following provision, which had long since prohibited sports betting in the state: “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.”

In one fell swoop, sports betting was allowed to be offered and regulated in the state of Mississippi. The only thing standing in the way was pesky PASPA, but the Mississippi vowed that they were ready to act quickly should the federal ban ever get lifted.

And, true to its word, in May 2018 when SCOTUS struck down PASPA, the Mississippi Gaming Commission had temporary regulations in place within hours. The state and its casino worked hard on finalizing regulations and sportsbook operations, and on August 1, 2018, Beau Rivage and Gold strike became the first Mississippi casinos to accept sports bets. Numerous other casinos have also launched sportsbooks, including IP Casino, Sam’s Town, and Horseshoe, and Churchill Downs Incorporated properties Harlow’s Casino Resort & Spa and Riverwalk Casino.

Mississippi Sports Betting FAQs

When did it become legal to bet on sports in Mississippi?

It’s been legal to bet on sports in the state of Mississippi since 2017, when the Fantasy Contest Act struck a prohibited provision from the record. With PASPA still in the way, full-scale sports betting wasn’t officially legalized until SCOTUS’ decision in May 2018. A few months later, the first legal sportsbooks in Mississippi went live on August 1, 2018.

Where can I place a sports bet in Mississippi?

Bets can currently be placed in-person at the following locations, which are land or water-based casinos in Mississippi:

What sports can I bet on in Mississippi?

Bets can be made on all professional and most college sports

What types of bets can I make in Mississippi?

So far, Mississippi sportsbooks are accepting point spread, moneyline, over/under, teasers, props, parlay, in-play and future bets.

Given that both DFS and sports betting are legal in Mississippi, will we see any hybrid games offered in the near future?

Given that Mississippi passed a bill actually legalizing DFS (The Fantasy Contest Act), it stands to reason that there will eventually be DFS-sports betting hybrid products. However, there are a couple of pressing obstacles that need to be overcome before we see this happen.

The first problem is that online and mobile sports betting apps are currently not legal or regulated in Mississippi. All legal sports betting must take place on the property of land or water-based casinos. This is likely to change in the future, but there is currently no timetable.

The second problem is this section of Mississippi’s sports betting regulations:

“A person or entity that a casino operator contracts with to assist in the offering of race book or sports pool wagering by providing operational, technical or other associated support shall obtain a manufacturer license and a distributor license from the Commission.”

Again, it’s very likely that the companies most likely to introduce these hybrid products – DraftKings and The FanDuel Group – will be approved by the Mississippi Gaming Commission to function as a partner within the state. But it remains an important point that they are subject to the approval of the Commission – and that’s only if and when online sports betting regulations are created and agreed upon.