Mississippi has been known as a gambling state since it was founded in 1817. However, it wasn’t until 1990 with the passage of the Mississippi Gaming Control Act that the state formalized its gambling industry.
The Mississippi Gaming Control Act allowed for riverboat casinos in coastal counties. Two years later, the first casinos opened in the state.
As of 2019, the Mississippi Gulf region is the third-largest casino market in the country, with almost 30 casinos open in the area.
How Sports Betting Became Legal In Mississippi
The stepping stone to legal sports betting in Mississippi first came in 2017 when Mississippi legalized daily fantasy sports. H967, known as the Fantasy Contest Act, laid out the regulatory framework for the sports betting industry.
The new daily fantasy sports law modified several provisions and definitions in the Gaming Control Act of 1972, including the major one that prohibited sports betting. The language that was stricken stated, “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.”
The new law allowed for the Mississippi Gaming Commission to regulate sports betting.
Just hours after the Supreme Court decision to strike down the PASPA ruling, the Mississippi Gaming Commission released draft regulations to govern sports betting in the state. After just a 30-day review period, those regulations went into effect and licensed operators began applying to offer sports betting in the Magnolia State.
The Mississippi Gaming Commission came to the conclusion that the tax rate on sports betting revenue would be 12 percent. With eight percent going to the state, and the remaining four percent as local tax. The 12 percent tax is the same as every other gaming tax in Mississippi.
The first legal sports bets in the state of Mississippi was placed on August 1, 2018, at Beau Rivage and Gold Strike casinos.
Where Can I Bet In Mississippi?
Sports betting is offered at the following locations in Mississippi:
- 1st Jackpot Casino
- Ameristar Casino Hotel
- Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
- Boomtown Casino
- Fitz Casino Hotel
- Gold Strike Casino Resort
- Golden Nugget
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
- Harlow’s Casino Resort
- Harrah’s Gulf Coast
- Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast
- Hollywood Casino Tunica
- Horseshoe Casino & Hotel
- IP Casino Resort Spa
- Island View Casino Resort
- Magnolia Bluffs Casino
- Palace Casino Resort
- Riverwalk Casino and Hotel
- Sam’s Town
- Scarlett Pearl Casino Resort
- Silver Slipper Casino
- Treasure Bay Casino and Hotel
- WaterView Casino and Hotel
Tribal Casinos that offer sports betting in Mississippi are:
- Bok Homa Casino
- Pearl River Resort
- Golden Moon Hotel & Casino at Pearl River Resort
- Silver Star Casino
The following casinos have yet to open a sportsbook in Mississippi:
- Isle of Capri Casino & Resort
- Lady Luck Casino
- Lighthouse Point Casino
- Resorts Tunica
- Trop Casino Greenville
- Tunica Roadhouse Casino and Hotel
Mobile Betting In Mississippi
Tribal casino property, Pearl River Resort, will launch the first mobile betting app in the state. The app will only function while patrons are on physically on property at the resort, due to Mississippi gaming regulations, which prevent online wagering outside of the host property.
According to the sportsbooks director, Chris Hopwood, the main purpose of the app is to reduce the need for patrons to physically visit the sportsbooks and have to wait in line.
Hopwood said, “It’s very busy in here on a college football Saturday and Sunday, before the games kick off and the mobile app will allow guests to not have to wait in line if they want to come inside for that and the other option is the in-play betting. They will be able to sit there at the counter or their table or any hotel room, wherever they want to go, and make bets.”
Not too much is currently known about the details of the app, including the name or launch date. What is known is that the app will be available for both iOS and Android, as well as the option of in-game prop betting.
Pearl River Resort features three casinos, the Golden Moon, Silver Star, and Bok Homa. While the resort also features a golf course and a water park, it makes sense to launch an app that allows bets to be placed anywhere on resort property.
With this launch, Mississippi will be the fourth state to feature a sports betting app, joining Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia.
Mississippi 2018 Sports Betting Numbers
- August: Total Handle – $6.3 million; Total Revenue – $644,000; Handle % – 10.2%
- September: Total Handle – $31.7 million; Total Revenue – $5.5 million; Handle % – 17.3%
- October: Total Handle – $32.8 million; Total Revenue – $1.18 million; Hold % – 3.6%
- November: Total Handle – $44.5 million; Total Revenue – $1.67 million; Hold % – 3.8%
- December: Total Handle – $41.8 million; Total Revenue – $6.2 million; Hold % – 14.8%
- 2018 Totals: Handle – $157.1 million; Revenue – $15.194 million; Hold – 9.7%
Of the five months in 2018 that Mississippi has had legal sports betting, three of those months provided less than satisfactory numbers in terms of revenue. Many believe that is due to a lack of mobile sports betting options.
December’s revenue out the state’s overall 2018 numbers. With football now over, numbers across the country will drop, as football is king in the sports betting world.
If mobile betting were to be legalized across the entire state, those numbers should see a moderate increase. With major casinos markets in the state, such as MGM Resorts, Caesar’s and DraftKings, all of which who operate mobile betting in other states, Mississippi could be set up for quick mobile and online betting by some of the biggest names in the industry, should it ever be legalized.