Read our overview of Mississippi gambling laws and learn why they are different from most US gambling laws. If you want to gamble in the US, Mississippi might be a a perfect destination for you.
Mississippi gambling laws
The Mississippi casino industry is regulated by Mississippi Gaming Commission and the Mississippi Department of Revenue. Unlike other states, Mississippi follows a strict enforcement approach when it comes to unlicensed or illegal gambling. The relevant authorities offer plenty of helpful information about licensing gambling establishments and casinos in Mississippi. In general, gambling is illegal in Mississippi, but the ban does not apply to licensed gaming venues and activities.
Mississippi is home to almost 40 casinos, which are authorized to offer a huge number of classic games. The Mississippi Gaming Commission provides a list about all the approved games that includes blackjack, poker, slots, keno, and tournaments among others. Therefore, Mississippi is an ideal destination for players who want something different or less flashy than Las Vegas. The taxes from casinos are used as part of the state’s overall budget.
Horse racing, dog racing and sports betting in Mississippi are illegal. Charitable bingo and raffles are lawful if licensed by the Charitable Gaming Division. It appears that Mississippi gambling laws are unique in the US. The authorities provide plenty of chances to play legally in the state. On the other hand, betting is prohibited even on horseracing and greyhound races, which is unusual when compared to other states.
Online Gambling in Mississippi
Online gambling in Mississippi is an illegal activity. Both the operation and the use of online casinos are outlawed. The Gaming Commission warns that some sites may “advertise they are legal and licensed forms of gaming.” Players should be aware that “it is illegal to place bets from Mississippi with these businesses.” In 2012 and 2015, there were some efforts to legalize online poker in Mississippi, but they were dropped really soon after their introduction.
Lotteries in Mississippi
Mississippi is one of the six states that don’t have a state run lottery. Mississippi gambling laws make a clear division between lotteries and gambling. The laws allow for most forms of casino gambling but not for lotteries, which is similar to the approach Nevada follows. Mississippi residents can purchase tickets in the neighboring states, however, it is illegal to sell lottery tickets within the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Mississippi
Paid daily fantasy sports in Mississippi contribute illegal gambling, determined Attorney General Jim Hood in January, 2016. His official opinion adds that it is illegal both on licensed gaming floors and outside of a licensed gaming floor. US gambling news reported that a month later a bill was introduced, which would legalize daily fantasy sports in Mississippi.
Based on the bill, operators would need to pay USD 100,000 for a license and USD 30,000 for the annual renewals of it. After the bill was approved by the committee, DraftKings released the following statement: “The unanimous passage of this bill out of committee is exciting news and confirms what experts, fans and many policymakers have come to understand: that fantasy sports are games of skill.” If the bill passes at all levels, it will become a law by July 2016. The bill currently only requires the signature of governor Phil Bryant.
UPDATE 18.05.2016 :
In May 2016, Governor Phil Bryant has signed Senate Bill 2541, legalizing daily fantasy sports in Mississippi until July 2017. The bill has also established a study commission to monitor the market and provide recommendations on further regulations. After the one-year period, the legality of daily fantasy sports in Mississippi will be reconsidered, but until then, players can freely enjoy the games.