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Gambling Laws of Mississippi Legal State of Gambling

In 1990, the Mississippi Legislature made a landmark decision by legalizing dockside casino gambling through the passage of House Bill 2 during a Special Legislative Session. This pivotal bill, effective from June 29, 1990, marked the inception of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act, laying the foundation for the state's gambling regulations. However, despite the progressive strides in land-based gambling, Mississippi maintains strict prohibitions against online gambling activities. As of December 2023, online sports betting remains illegal within the state borders, mandating that individuals must physically be present at licensed casinos to place wagers. Mississippi introduced in-person sports betting in 2018, setting a course for a regulated and controlled gambling landscape within its boundaries.

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Overview of Online Gambling in Mississippi

License Jurisdiction Icon

Mississippi's gambling landscape boasts a diverse array of betting opportunities, predominantly housed within its 29 brick-and-mortar casinos. Renowned as the fourth state in the United States to legalize single-game sports betting, the Magnolia State offers a robust environment for in-person wagering. Despite this, the state maintains a cautious approach toward online and mobile betting, displaying a notable reluctance among lawmakers to embrace these platforms.

In Mississippi, online casino gambling remains strictly prohibited, leaving bettors with limited digital options. While social casinos present an avenue for players to enjoy slots and table games online, these platforms solely offer games for prizes or entertainment purposes without any monetary transactions. However, engaging with offshore-based online casinos—unregulated entities operating without oversight—is cautioned against due to the absence of regulation and oversight. Although Mississippi's laws do not explicitly address online casino gambling, the state's regulatory body, the Mississippi Gaming Commission, unequivocally asserts its stance, declaring on its website that “Internet gambling is illegal under state law.” This unequivocal stance reinforces the state's prohibition of online gambling activities, leaving online bettors with few legal alternatives within Mississippi's regulated gambling sphere.

The Legal Gambling Status in Mississippi

Statut

In Mississippi, various forms of gambling are legal and accessible to residents and visitors alike. The state permits bingo games, allowing individuals to participate in this popular social activity. Additionally, Mississippi does not have a state lottery, meaning there are no official lottery games available within its borders. However, sports betting, including parimutuel betting in sportsbooks, is legal, offering enthusiasts opportunities to wager on their favorite sports events. Poker is also legal and can be enjoyed at licensed and regulated establishments. Furthermore, Mississippi is home to tribal casinos, providing another avenue for individuals to engage in gambling activities sanctioned by the state. Overall, the state offers a diverse array of gambling options, although it does not currently operate a state lottery.

Gambling Forms in Mississippi Description Legality
Bingo Social game involving marking numbers on cards as they're called. Legal
Sports Betting (including parimutuel betting in sportsbooks) Legal wagering on sports events at licensed establishments. Legal
Poker Card game legalized and played at licensed gambling venues. Legal
Tribal Casinos Gambling facilities operated by Native American tribes. Legal
Online Casino Gambling Prohibited activity involving playing casino games online. Illegal
State Lottery Mississippi lacks a state-run lottery, thus no official games. Illegal
Unregulated Offshore Online Casinos Gambling on unregulated offshore-based online casino platforms. Illegal

License for Online Casinos in Mississippi

In Mississippi, online casinos remain illegal, thereby precluding the issuance of licenses for these platforms within the state. While online casino gambling is prohibited, other forms of gambling, such as brick-and-mortar casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, tribal casinos, and bingo halls, are legally permitted and regulated. Licenses for these legal gambling activities in Mississippi are typically granted by the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the regulatory body overseeing the state's gambling industry. The Commission ensures compliance with stringent regulations, including licensing and oversight of casinos, ensuring fair gaming practices, and maintaining the integrity of these authorized gambling establishments. However, as online casino gambling remains expressly prohibited, no licensing framework exists for such operations within the state.

History and Timeline for Mississippi Online Gambling

This timeline outlines the sequence of events that culminated in the legalization of gambling in the state of Mississippi.

In 1990, the Mississippi Legislature ushered in a new era by legalizing dockside casino gambling through House Bill 2 during a Special Legislative Session. This landmark bill, effective from June 29, 1990, established the Mississippi Gaming Control Act, leading to the formation of the Mississippi Gaming Commission to oversee and regulate the operations of dockside casinos. Initially, the Mississippi State Tax Commission managed gaming activities until the Gaming Commission assumed full responsibility on October 1, 1993. Governed by three appointed Commissioners serving staggered four-year terms, the Gaming Commission operates under strict guidelines, ensuring no Commissioner serves more than a decade. The Charitable Gaming Law allowed bingo play to raise funds for registered nonprofit organizations, setting limitations on game frequency and times. Since the inauguration of the first regulated bingo hall in October 1992, charitable gaming has expanded, now conducted in approximately half of Mississippi's counties.

  • October 1993: Establishment of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, marking the transition of primary regulatory authority for the casino industry from the tax commission to the newly formed Gaming Commission.
  • Early 1994: Rapid growth in the casino industry as 19 casinos opened their doors in Mississippi shortly after the Gaming Commission assumed regulatory control.
  • October 1992: Inauguration of the first regulated bingo hall, marking the initiation of charitable gaming activities, now conducted in approximately half of Mississippi's counties.
  • November 1992: Landmark decision enabling the potential creation of a state lottery as 53% of the state's electorate voted to repeal Section 98 of Article 4 of the Mississippi Constitution, which had previously prohibited the establishment or advertising of any lottery within the state.

Legalization of Sports Betting in Mississippi

  • Prior exclusion of pari-mutuel betting on racetracks or Off-Track Betting (OTBs) despite an established gambling industry in Mississippi.
  • Legalization of horse betting occurred only subsequent to the enactment of sports betting regulations in 2018, marking the initial authorization of legal horse betting within the state.
  • August 2018: Landmark legalization of sports betting in Mississippi, allowing for in-person wagering on casino grounds exclusively.
    28 casinos with sportsbooks across the state provided avenues for individuals to engage in in-person sports betting activities.
  • Limited availability of sports betting apps offered by a few casinos, usable solely within the premises of the respective sportsbooks.
  • Emphasize that despite the legalization of in-person sports betting, online sports betting remains illegal in Mississippi, necessitating physical presence at licensed casino locations to place wagers.

Legalization of Online Gambling in Mississippi

As of the current regulations in Mississippi, online gambling remains illegal within the state. Despite the presence of a well-established gambling industry encompassing various forms of in-person wagering such as casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, and charitable gaming, the state has not legalized online gambling activities. This prohibition extends to online casino gaming, sports betting, and any other forms of gambling conducted through internet platforms. Mississippi law mandates that individuals must be physically present at licensed casino establishments to participate in any form of gambling, enforcing strict restrictions that do not permit or regulate online gambling within the state's borders.

Legal Gambling Forms in Mississippi

In Mississippi, various types of gambling are legally allowed. People can enjoy activities like playing bingo, betting on sports, playing poker at licensed places, and visiting tribal casinos. These forms of gambling are regulated and permitted under the state's laws, offering residents and visitors different options for entertainment and gaming experiences.

The legal gambling age in Mississippi is 21 years old for all forms of gambling activities.

USA Mobile Casinos Icon

Mississippi Online Casinos

Online casinos are considered illegal in the state of Mississippi according to its gambling laws. The state does not permit or license online gambling platforms, including online casinos. Residents of Mississippi are advised to adhere to the state's regulations regarding gambling activities.
sports betting icon

Mississippi Sports Betting

Sports betting is legal in Mississippi, and the state has embraced this form of gambling since the repeal of PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 2018. Various licensed casinos in Mississippi offer sports betting services, allowing residents and visitors to legally wager on sports events within the state's borders. The Mississippi Gaming Commission oversees and regulates sports betting activities to ensure compliance with state laws.
poker cards

Mississippi Online Poker

In Mississippi, online poker falls under the category of illegal gambling activities based on current state laws. The state's gambling regulations do not permit or license online poker platforms. Residents of Mississippi are advised to adhere to these laws and refrain from participating in online poker games while within the state's borders.
Bingo Play Icon

Mississippi Bingo

Bingo is legal in Mississippi and is often offered as a form of charitable gambling. Various charitable organizations, churches, and other groups hold bingo games as fundraising activities throughout the state. Mississippi has specific regulations governing the operation and conduct of bingo games, ensuring compliance with state laws.
fantasy sports

Mississippi Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are legal and operational in Mississippi. The state legalized DFS in 2017, establishing regulations that allow major DFS operators to offer their services to residents. Mississippi's laws include consumer protection measures and licensing requirements for DFS operators to ensure fair play and player safety within the industry.
Lottery Icon

Mississippi Lotteries

Mississippi established its state lottery in 2018 after years of being one of the few states without a lottery. The Mississippi Lottery Corporation oversees the lottery, offering various draw games and scratch-off tickets for residents and visitors to participate in. The proceeds from the lottery sales contribute to education funding and infrastructure projects in the state.

Mississippi Parimutuel Betting

Parimutuel betting is legal in Mississippi, primarily for horse racing enthusiasts. The state has specific laws permitting and regulating parimutuel wagering at licensed racetracks and off-track betting facilities. Mississippi's regulations ensure that horse racing betting adheres to legal guidelines while providing an avenue for individuals to engage in this form of gambling.
Illegal

Mississippi Prohibited Gambling Activities

In Mississippi, certain gambling activities are strictly prohibited by law. This includes any form of unauthorized online gambling, unlicensed gambling establishments, and activities not explicitly permitted by the state's regulations. Engaging in illegal gambling operations or unlicensed gambling activities can lead to legal consequences in accordance with Mississippi's laws.

Check Out These Online Casinos Available in Mississippi

Discover a variety of permitted online casinos accessible in Mississippi, where you have the freedom to select your preferred type of gambling entertainment. As part of the registration process within these platforms, age verification is a mandatory step to ensure compliance with legal betting age requirements. Choose from a diverse array of gambling options available at these authorized online casinos in Mississippi, all while undergoing the necessary verification to ensure a safe and lawful gaming experience.

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Legalization of Bingo in Mississippi

bingo

Bingo was authorized as a legal form of gambling in Mississippi, beginning with the passage of regulations allowing its play in October of 1992. This social game operates by players marking off numbers on cards as they are called out by a designated announcer or drawn randomly. The game is commonly conducted in settings regulated by the Charitable Gaming Law, aiming to support groups, associations, or clubs registered as nonprofit organizations. Mississippi's regulations specify the allowable frequency and times for conducting bingo games, ensuring compliance with state laws governing this popular social activity.

Legalization of Blackjack in Mississippi

blackjack

In Mississippi, gambling is legally permitted, primarily within the premises of land-based casinos. These casinos offer a wide array of entertainment options, allowing patrons to engage in various slot machines and traditional table games. Moreover, several of these casinos also feature retail sportsbooks, providing enthusiasts with opportunities to place bets on professional sports events. The state boasts a vibrant gambling scene, with these land-based establishments serving as hubs for gaming and wagering activities. Visitors and residents alike have access to a diverse range of gambling experiences within the confines of these licensed casinos, making Mississippi a notable destination for individuals seeking thrilling gaming opportunities.

Legalization of Lotteries in Mississippi

Lottery Icon

In Mississippi, the legalization of lotteries became possible following a pivotal decision in November 1992. This momentous event occurred when 53% of the state's electorate voted to repeal Section 98 of Article 4 of the Mississippi Constitution. The removal of this section, which previously prohibited lotteries and their advertising, opened the door for the potential creation of a state lottery. However, despite this significant step toward the possibility of establishing a lottery, Mississippi has yet to implement a state-run lottery system. As of the latest information available, there is no operational state lottery in Mississippi. The regulation and oversight of lotteries, if and when established, would likely fall under the purview of a specific governing body designated by the state legislature or government.

Mississippi Parimutuel Betting

Horse Racing IconParimutuel betting is legally permitted in Mississippi. This form of betting involves individuals placing wagers amongst themselves, with odds determined by the total amount of bets made rather than fixed odds set by the house. The state's legalization of parimutuel betting extends to various sports events, including horse racing, allowing licensed establishments such as racetracks or designated betting facilities to offer this form of wagering. Mississippi's embrace of parimutuel betting signifies an expansion in the realm of gambling opportunities, providing enthusiasts with avenues to participate in this particular style of betting on sports events within the state.

Mississippi Prohibited Gambling Activities

In Mississippi, certain gambling activities remain prohibited under state law. Online casino gambling stands as one of the key prohibited forms of wagering within the state, with regulations expressly forbidding individuals from engaging in casino gaming activities through internet platforms. While sports betting is legal, online sports betting is not permitted outside licensed casino premises. The state strictly prohibits unauthorized gambling conducted through unregulated offshore-based online casinos, emphasizing the illegality of such operations. Mississippi does not operate a state-run lottery, despite the possibility of its establishment after the repeal of the constitutional clause prohibiting lotteries. These prohibitions underscore the state's commitment to maintaining strict regulations and control over specific forms of gambling activities, emphasizing the boundaries of legal gambling within Mississippi's jurisdiction.

Gambling in Mississippi – Licensing, Tax and Fees

Tax and Fees Icon

In Mississippi, the application fee for casino gaming applicants stands at $5,000, with an additional $5,000 required for licensing fees. Under Section 27-7-901 of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act, there is a three percent (3%) tax levy on gaming winnings received from establishments licensed by this Act. This tax amount is withheld and remitted by the gaming establishment. It's important to note that Mississippi's broader tax system includes a 7.00 percent state sales tax rate. Additionally, there exists a maximum local sales tax rate of 1.00 percent, culminating in an average combined state and local sales tax rate of approximately 7.07 percent. As of 2023, Mississippi's tax system holds the 30th overall position on the State Business Tax Climate Index, indicating the state's tax structure's relative standing concerning business environments when compared nationwide.

Important Questions for Gambling Laws of Mississippi

Is online gambling legal in Mississippi?

Online gambling, including online casino gaming and online sports betting, remains illegal in Mississippi. The state does not permit or regulate online gambling activities within its borders. Individuals looking to engage in gambling activities must physically be present at licensed casino establishments in Mississippi to participate in wagering or gaming. The state strictly prohibits online gambling, and there are no provisions or frameworks in place for its legalization or regulation as of the current regulations.

What is the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the legal minimum age requirement for engaging in various forms of gambling, including online casinos, sports betting, and poker, is 21 years old. Individuals must be at least 21 years of age to participate in these gambling activities, whether they are conducted online or at licensed brick-and-mortar establishments within the state. It's essential to comply with the state's age restrictions when engaging in any form of gambling in Mississippi to avoid potential legal repercussions.

How does parimutuel betting work in Mississippi?

Parimutuel betting in Mississippi involves individuals betting on various events, typically horse racing or similar sporting events, where all bets are pooled together. In this system, the odds fluctuate based on the total amount wagered on each possible outcome rather than having predetermined odds set by the house. As people place bets, the total betting pool accumulates, and the odds change accordingly. After the event concludes, the total pool of bets is divided among the winners, with payouts calculated based on the final odds at the time the event began. Parimutuel betting is a social form of gambling where participants wager against each other, and the final payouts are determined by the collective bets made on the event.

What types of gambling are legally permissible in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, legally permissible forms of gambling include sports betting, poker, lotteries, bingo, horse racing, and land-based casinos.

Gambling Form Description
Casino Gambling Involves playing various games such as slots, table games like blackjack, poker, and roulette.
Sports Betting Wagering on sports events, where individuals place bets on outcomes before or during the event.
Poker Card game involving skill and strategy played in casinos, where players compete against each other.
Bingo Social game where players mark numbers on cards as they are called out by a designated announcer.
Parimutuel Betting Betting system where wagers are pooled together, odds fluctuate based on total bets, often in racing.
Charitable Gaming Games like bingo conducted for nonprofit organizations' fundraising, regulated under specific laws.
State Lottery (If Available) Potential state-run lottery games involving the sale of tickets and the drawing of winning numbers.

Which regulatory bodies oversee gambling activities in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the oversight and regulation of gambling activities are managed by several regulatory bodies:

  1. Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC): The primary regulatory body overseeing the state's gaming industry, including casinos, sports betting, and other gambling activities. The MGC ensures compliance with gaming laws and regulations, issues licenses, and monitors the operations of gambling establishments.
  2. Mississippi State Tax Commission (MSTC): Historically, before the formation of the MGC, the MSTC had a role in regulating and overseeing gaming activities. However, its responsibilities regarding gaming were later transferred to the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
  3. Mississippi Lottery Corporation: If the state establishes a lottery, the Mississippi Lottery Corporation would likely be responsible for regulating and overseeing lottery-related activities, including ticket sales and prize distributions.
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Jessica Bozukova | Senior Content Writer

Jessica is a skilled writer adept at crafting unique casino reviews, bonus pages, slot analyses, and exciting gaming news. Her expertise lies in delivering compelling content tailored for the avid gaming community.
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